“My interest in writing and adapting books for the stage came about chiefly from two things. First a clairvoyant told me about fifteen years ago when I was horribly out of work, that I had a great gift for writing. I nearly laughed in her face and demanded my money back. Writing was something I had never taken seriously, certainly not as another feather to my over-pluméd hat.

Two years later, out of the blue, producer Charles Vance rang me and asked if I would be interested in adapting the old Ealing comedy, The Lavender Hill Mob. Being too nervous to tackle it on my own I engaged the services of two script writer friends of mine. It was a pretty clumsy first attempt, but at least we got it on and made the producer a bit of money.

Then six months later I played Aunt Agatha in Giles Havergal’s brilliant adaptation of Travels with my Aunt. I learnt so much from the way he had lifted the book so caringly from the page to the stage that I began searching for another book of Greene's to adapt myself. Our Man in Havana seemed the obvious choice as it was a farce and lent itself to the stage. I adapted it for four actors all playing a multitude of roles and opened it at the Theatre Royal Windsor in 2002. It seemed to work rather successfully and as a consequence has been playing around the country and now around the world ever since. It is published along with a number of my other adaptations by Oberon Books.’’  C.F.
Clive Francis talks about his role as Scrooge
Clive Francis
A Christmas Carol
Further tour dates to be announced.
Clive’s first adaptation was first staged in 2000. He has toured with the production every year since.
He fills an empty stage with an entire Dickensian landscape. Simply magic!
Alan Ayckbourn
A wonderful, wonderful Scrooge.
John Mortimer
...performance of his career...
Daily Telegraph
...touches the heart...
...wondrous old skinflint...
The Daily mail
The Sunday Times
Francis gives an invigorated, immaculate and heart-warming account of
A Christmas Carol.
Despite fears that a modern audience does not have the attention span for a 70 minute storytelling, this performance will enrapture the most nomadic of minds.
The Irish Sunday Times
The splendid array of melodrama, comedy and rapport with the audience carries the packed house along on at a good pace which never falters.
What's On Stage
Francis got through to my flinty heart and gave it a resonating tap - the magic of Dickens' story invigorated my waning Christmas spirit, and it's Francis' marvellous adaptation and performance that made that happy. So less of the "bah, humbug" - if you want some classic Christmas cheer, Francis is the person to give it to you.
One Stop Arts.

This astonishing actor was superb and Birmingham's tightly packed Town Hall thronged to shouts of 'bravo'.
Birmingham Post
Clive Francis’ storytelling is as fresh, ingenious and enthralling as if it had only this minute sprung to life.
The Irish Times
Francis has put together the definitive version of A Christmas Carol and I never ever want to see another.
This is The One.
Clive Francis' Scrooge is the best!
Birmingham Mail
Clive Francis
The Lavender Hill Mob
Adapted by Clive Francis, Paul Minett and Brian Leveson
Directed by Clive Francis
Clive Francis
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Clive’s first stage adaptation produced by Nottingham Playhouse, 2004
Clive Francis's excellent adaptation, which achieves just the right mixture of seriousness and gentle spoofing.
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph. 2006
Three Men in Boat
by Jerome K Jerome
Adapted for the stage by Clive Francis
Directed by Paul Jepson
Clive Francis' adaptation proves a treat, touchingly faithful to the spirit of the original.
Charles Spencer. The Daily Telegraph, 2007
Clive Francis
Andrew Loudon and Roger Delves-Broughton
Photo: Douglas McBride
Our Man in Havana
Adapted by Clive Francis from the novel by Graham Greene
An inspired production. The perfect antidote to autumn blues.
The Stage 

Clive Francis’s ingenious stage version for four actors of Graham Greene’s great novel. 
The Scotsman 
Clive Francis
Alice The Musical
Lyrics by Clive Francis
Music by Charles Miller
Alice The Musical is based on Lewis Carroll’s story about a young girl who falls into a deep sleep whilst being read a book by her sister, and has the most wonderful dream; a dream which immediately becomes a nightmare.
First of all, the Cheshire Cat introduces us to the mysterious world of Wonderland, and the inhabitants that live there. Then we meet a whole host of characters including the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Queen and, of course, the Mad Hatter! Will Alice wake up in time not to lose her head?
Published and available for licensed performances by Concorde Theatricals/Rogers & Hammerstein Theatricals [details]
Clive Francis
The Small Hand
By Susan Hill
Adapted by Clive Francis
Clive Francis’ stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand, has all the ingredients you could wish for; plenty of dark and stormy nights, screams and thunderclaps, dry ice, a train journey across the border in inclement weather, and a couple of grand houses that have seen better days.
Guildford Advertiser, October 2014
Clive Francis
Now available from Oberon Books.
(Cover illustration by Clive Francis)

“A joyous evening”
The Guardian

“Wonderfully funny”
The Daily Telegraph

“…wondrous old skinflint…”
Daily Mail

“Pure joy to watch”
The Times

Clive Francis
By Ben Travers
Adapted by Clive Francis
Clive Francis has lightly edited and spruced up the text, and the result is a joyous evening in which panic lurks just below the innocent surface.
Michael Billington, The Guardian

This farcical comedy provides moments of unalloyed comic joy.
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
Clive Francis
Photographer: Alastair Muir
By Ben Travers Adapted by Clive Francis
Ben Travers’s classic 1927 Aldwych farce, in a glorious new version by Clive Francis, is fast-paced, rip-roaring and hilariously inventive: perfect Summer entertainment! If you enjoyed See How They Run! or Noises Off, don’t miss this!
NOT being familiar with Ben Travers's 1927 farce – and there are few other places one might see it these days – the coup de theatre that brings Thark to a close still came as a surprise. I cannot say how it previously ended, but the final revision of the text by Clive Francis is certainly dramatic. As well as reshaping the structure of the play, Francis has taken a knowing and even ironic approach to some of the dialogue, building in nods and winks to dated vocabulary, as well as parachuting in his own gags. The effect is, inevitably, to make the play seem more a pastiche of the time of its setting, but that does little damage to what is a frothy confection in the first place, and makes all of its class-based humour (on which hinges most of the plot) easier to take in a egalitarian age.
Keith Bruce, The Herald Scotland ★★★★
Our Man in Havana
By Graham Greene
Adapted by Clive Francis
“You should dream more, Mr. Wormold. Reality in our century is not something to be faced.”
Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana
Cuba 1958. Meet Jim Wormold – a hapless vacuum cleaner salesman who gets sucked in to a dirty world of espionage and double agents when the chance of helping out MI6 with a job or two proves too good an offer to resist. And, quite frankly, he could do with the cash to pay for his teenage daughter’s ever increasing lifestyle.
From the company who brought us Travels With My Aunt and thrillingly adapted for the stage by Clive Francis, this uproarious farce is filleted to perfection from Graham Greene’s hilarious, subversive and ever popular novel.
Wonderful evening's entertainment, great adaptation and great performances from strong cast, on simple but very evocative set. Some priceless comic moments, hope the actors actually had as much fun as it looked like they were having! Many thanks all round, we loved it.

Well worth going to see for this very funny slice of Grahame Greene's view on life, especially as it is the last week of the show and deserves a rousing send-off!
Our own David Bower had a chat with James Dinsmore and discovered he also has a love of opera…
Buxton Opera House
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Blackpool Grand Theatre
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
New Wolsey, Ipswich
York Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal, Winchester
Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Malvern Festival Theatre
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Copyright © 2022 Clive Francis. All rights reserved. Main photograph of Clive Francis by Simon Annand.

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