Little Gaddesden Drama Club has learnt with great sadness of the death of Terry Staniforth.
Terry was a member of LGDC from 2000 and has been in many productions, including Toad of Toad Hall, Christmas Will Be Late This Year, Confusions (in which he played he played Ernest and Terry), Habeas Corpus (Mr Shanks), Stand and Deliver (Sid Smith), Home (in which his physical acting skills came to the fore in the part of the mute muscle-man Alfred) and Elected to Kill.
He had some memorable – and very funny – revue roles. In the 2011 Gaddesden Varieties, he was the villain whose face was positively etched with dastardliness in a mime sketch in which he tied his helpless victim to a railway line. Most recently, in the 2020 Revue, director Patrick Isherwood remembers him as the hilariously thuggish, gum-chewing Teddy in the spoof Andy Pandy sketch, as well as the over-zealous Constable Savage who talked with pride of arresting people for, among other things: loitering with intent to use a pedestrian crossing, urinating in a public convenience, and walking around with an offensive wife. And in the Time Warp Revue in 2017, Diana Ball recalls helping him as he prepared to make his unforgettable entrance as the one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan:
“I was working backstage and had to help Terry prepare for the sketch by strapping his leg up before he went on. I think we were using belts. We didn’t want to do it until the last minute as it was quite uncomfortable for him. So I would be saying: “lets do it now”, and Terry would say “not yet, not yet”. Anyway, with a short time to go, Terry would bend his leg up backwards and I would kneel on the floor with my head under his coat and start strapping…and of course this started us laughing. I would then tighten the belts and Terry would hop around and then, “NO! It’s too tight! It’s cutting off my circulation!” And then it would be too loose, and… By this time we were helpless with laughter and would hear the cue. Terry would then hop on (whatever the tightness of the belts) and with a straight face do the sketch.”
We’re all going to miss him, as no doubt will other groups with whom he acted. We send our sympathies to Terry’s daughter Shelly and her family, and to Terry’s long term partner Janice.
Terry’s funeral will be at 1:30pm on Monday 11 April 2022 at Aylesbury Vale Crematorium, Watermead, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 0FU. (Family flowers only. Funeral conducted by R. Metcalfe, 18 High Street, Tring. Charitable donations to Rennie Grove Hospice Care.)
You are welcome to leave a tribute or appreciation in the comment box below if you wish. If you would like to be put in touch with either Shelly or Janice, members can request contact details by emailing in-memoriam.terry@LGDramaClub.com.