Letchworth am dram group remember “a master of comic timing”

A MEMORIAL ceremony has been held to remember a long-serving member of an amateur operatic society described as “a master of comic timing”.

Keith Driver, who died last year at the age of 81, had been an active member of the Letchworth Arcadians both on and offstage for over 48 years.

The Arcadians took a break from rehearsals for their February Oklahoma! show to unveil a clock and memorial plaque at their rehearsal rooms in Norton Methodist Church, North Avenue, Letchworth GC.

“This clock is a fitting memorial to Keith, who was a master of comic timing,” said Arcadians’ president, Roger Newman Turner.

The clock was unveiled by Mr Driver’s wife, Viviann, who has assisted in the society’s costume department for many years.

Also present was one of their sons, Robert Driver and his wife, Mary, both of whom are active members of the Arcadians.

Mr Driver played many principal roles for the society, most notably Cap’n Andy in Showboat, Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, Calcha in La Belle Helene, Col Pickering in My Fair Lady, Merlin in Camelot, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, and he was a definitive Fagin in two productions of Oliver!.

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It was for the Arcadians’ regular Old Tyme Music Halls, at Ashwell Village Hall in the late 1960s, that a quartet of members formed The Singing Waiters, who performed barber-shop style songs.

Mr Driver was the comic linchpin of the group which went on to win national fame in a television talent show called Opportunity Knocks, presented by Hughie Green.