The Patter Man

I’ve recently fallen in love with the performances of John Reed, one of the last D’Oyly Carte Opera Company’s “patter men.” This particular patter man would go on to be the only one to have been officially recorded performing every surviving Gilbert and Sullivan operetta for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. He brought a unique flare and character interpretation to every role he took on. I also learned he was a gay man, living with his partner, who was also his business manager, until the day he passed away in 2010. Here’s a link to his obituary as well as a lovely tribute. I just got his book, a lovely autobiography, dictated to a friend, transcribed and published.

In my work getting my master’s in theatre, I specialized in trying to uncover the LGBTQ experiences of past performers and theatre practitioners. I look forward to researching about John Reed to try to find what particular queer influences he may have had on Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta in the mid 20th century. To get his book, “Nothing Whatever to Grumble At” go here!

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