Clive’s acting career began after leaving RADA, as a Penguin Player in repertory in Worthing and Eastbourne. The credits below are divided between London's West End theatres which range from CF's debut at the Globe Theatre in 1966 and his credits in regional theatre and on tour across the country, beginning with Getting Married in 1965.

“My first appearance on stage was in Romeo and Juliet. I played a page to the Duke of Venice. I was 9 and had tights that were forever wrinkling. Some kind soul told me that the trick was to wrap a penny around the top to prevent this happening. The result was a lot of penny spillage at inopportune moments!”CF

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Clive Francis aged 9 in Romeo and Juliet
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1965
CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE
Getting Married
by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Eric Jones
Role: Cecil Sykes
Cast included Eleanor Bron, Gabrielle Drake, Sylvia Coleridge
REVIEW
Eleanor Bron and Clive Francis make an engaging bridal couple.
The Stage, 1965
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
This was my first theatrical engagement on leaving RADA. It was for the Prospect Theatre Company an organization set up by Toby Robertson in 1961. Prospect pioneered a type of theatre production in which emphasis was placed on quality acting and strikingly designed costumes, while its minimal stage designs enabled the company to easily tour regional theatres.

Getting Married, not one of my favourite plays, far too wordy, turned out to be a long and happy tour and introduced me to different parts of the country and a number of exquisite theatres. I remember arriving in Norwich in thick snow and having to trudge on foot to the Theatre Royal where I found the main auditorium in use as a cinema, and where I had to tiptoe behind a gigantic screen looking up at the colossal outline of Peter O’Toole in Lord Jim searching for what had to be the coldest dressing room I’ve ever had to endure; even the water in the taps was frozen. The theatre auditorium was so cold that they placed industrial braziers, the kind they used on roads, to keep the sparse audience warm. Trouble was that the flames roared noisily throughout the play, which, apart from being a huge distraction, meant that the cast were forced to practically yell to be heard.

I played a character called Cecil Sykes who is engaged to Edith, played by Eleanor Bron. Both Edith and Cecil are reading conflicting pamphlets on the state and dangers of marriage! Edith has learned that if her husband becomes a criminal lunatic she cannot divorce him. He has learned that he may be liable for his wife's debts. Anyway they eventually discard the pamphlets and return happily married.

There was one moment in the play where my character had to sit on the stairs up-stage centre listening to lengthy arguments on the state of marriage. On this particular Monday evening due to the heat and then the fumes from the braziers Cecil Sykes was seen to fall fast asleep and had to be kicked awake in order to finish the play. To make matters worse my new agent had spent the best part of five hours driving to Norwich from London risking his life along treacherous icy roads to see his new client in his first play. You can imagine his dismay at finding him sound asleep!
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1966
GLOBE THEATRE
There’s a Girl in My Soup
by Terence Frisby
Directed by Robert Chetwin
Role: Jimmy
Cast included: Donald Sinden, Barbara Ferris (Belinda Carroll), Jon Pertwee
REVIEW
Watch out for Clive Francis making his West End bow – he’ll go far.
Fergus Cashin, The Daily Sketch
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
This was my first west-end end play. In fact, we were only brought in because the Globe Theatre (now Gielgud) needed something to fill a six-week gap before a new show arrived from the States. There’s a Girl in My Soup ran for six years, becoming, at that time, the longest-running comedy in the history of the West End.

On opening night, we were systematically booed by the Gallery First Nighters, a group of obsessive theatre fans who always commandeered the Gods and cheered or jeered as they saw fit. Except that on this occasion they found themselves at odds with the stalls, who immediately leapt to our defence by rounding on the First Nighter’s, booing them as vociferously as they were booing us.

The other memorable occasion took place on July 10 of that year when England took on West Germany in the World Cup final. We played the matinée at breakneck speed, rushing whenever the opportunity arose to watch the game on a miniature six-inch television set. At the curtain call Donald Sinden stepped forward and informed the elderly audience that they may be interested to know that England had won the Cup, a piece of information that was greeted in absolute silence, apart from one old boy near the front who was heard to murmur, ‘I say, jolly good, what?’
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1967
LEATHERHEAD THEATRE CLUB
The Silver Box
by John Galsworthy
Directed by Stuart Latham
Role: Jack Bathwick
Cast included: Cast included Sonia Graham, Jessica Spenser, Daniel Thorndike.
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
The Leatherhead Theatre company was formed in 1951 by the indefatigable Hazel Vincent Wallace and became the home of, what had once been, the Ace Cinema in the High Street, an odd looking building, like an elongated nissen hut, but full of character. During rehearsals one day we were invited to cross the road, to what had once been Sainsbury’s, to watch Dame Sybil Thorndike and her husband, Sir Lewis Casson cast a bottle of champagne against a crumbling wall to mark the beginnings of what was to become The Thorndike Theatre.

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1968
THE QUEENS THEATRE
The Servant of Two Masters
by Carlo Goldoni
Directed by Toby Robertson
Role: Silvio
Cast included: Tommy Steele, Michele Dotrice, Julia Lockwood, Ronald Radd, Graham Crowden.
REVIEW
Clive Francis as the young lover was immaculate and inventive.
The Tribune
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
Not the most memorable of productions and not one of the happiest for poor Toby Robertson who did not see eye to eye with Tommy Steele and basically let him get on with it; so it became more the Tommy Steele show than anything to do with Goldoni.
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1968
LEICESTER PHOENIX THEATRE
Danton’s Death
by Georg Buchner
Directed by John Hales
Role: Camille Desmoulins
Cast included Mia Nardi, William Gaunt, William Russell
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1968
LEICESTER PHOENIX THEATRE
Loot
by Joe Orton
Directed by John Hales
Role: Dennis
Cast included Patricia Kneale, Stanley Lebor.
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
In 1968 I spent six months at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, then run by Jonathan Hales, performing in three very contrasting plays. The first was Loot, being presented here for the first time since it’s West End debut, two years before. What made it doubly important was that it was being performed in Joe Orton’s home town.

This was not the first time that I found myself acquainted with the works of Joe Orton, earlier that same year I had played Sloane in a televised version of Entertaining Mr Sloane, a play I was to revisit as I would Loot and also What the Butler Saw, much later in my career.
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1968
LEICESTER PHOENIX THEATRE
Irma La Douce
Music by Marguerite Monnot
Lyrics by David Heneker and Monty Norman
Directed by Michael Ashton
Role: Nestor
Cast included Mia Nardi, William Russell
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1969
DERBY PLAYHOUSE
Lock up Your Daughters
Music by Laurie Johnson
Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Directed by Peter Jackson
Role: Nestor
Cast included Gillian Humphreys
REVIEW
As a young gallant ever faithful about his intentions, Clive Francis has a leering eye and cheeky face.
Derby Evening Telegraph
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1970
THE FORTUNE THEATRE
Three one act plays
by George Bernard Shaw
Role: Various
Cast included Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, June Barry, Robert Fleming.
REVIEW
It is typical of commercial management that Mr Francis’s name is missing from the cast-list outside the theatre, when, on the strength of these plays, he is one of the most accomplished young actors in sight.
Hugh Leonard, Plays and Players
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1972
THE APOLLO THEATRE
The Mating Game
by Robin Hawdon
Directed by Ray Cooney
Role: Draycott Harris
Cast included: Terry Scott, Aimi MacDonald, Julia Lockwood
REVIEW
Clive Francis agonizes in the central role with capable anonymity.
Irving Wardle, The Times
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
A production that ran for nearly two years, giving me my first West End leading role, and my name in lights for the first time. I played opposite Terry Scott who taught me the art of timing by constantly squeezing my knee rather violently! Later Jimmy Logan took over from Terry resulting in a long and happy friendship. On Jim’s first night all his close friends came to support him including Tony Bennett who sang at the party afterwards, including, ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’, with the adorable Joan Sims. Wonderful memories.
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1974
THE PHOENIX THEATRE
Bloomsbury
by Peter Luke
Directed by Richard Cottrell
Role: Ralph Partridge
Cast included: Daniel Massey, Penelope Wilton, Yvonne Mitchell
REVIEWS
is the breath of conventionality as the orthodox Ralph Partridge.
Milton Shulman. Evening Standard

It’s a pleasure to see Clive Francis in such a worthwhile part after his last West End venture. (The Mating Game). This is a truly impressive study of disintegration.
Sandy Wilson. Plays and Players

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The photo shows Peter Blythe, Gordon Gostelow, Denholm Elliott, Clive Francis, Graham Greene and Norman Tyrrell
1975
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
The Return of A.J. Raffles
by Graham Greene
Directed by David Jones
Role: Bunny
Cast included: Denholm Elliot, Peter Blythe, Paul Rogers, Michael Bryant
REVIEW
Clive Francis’Bunny is an amusingly hyped-up Stan Laurie.
Michael Billington The Guardian
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
Graham Greene sent me a telegram on the first night which read:
May Bunny’s ears always grow longer and silkier.
Graham

To be working on a new play by Graham Greene and to have the author present during the rehearsals was one of the most exciting experiences of my career, especially as I was an avid admirer of his novels and had collected quite a number of first-editions, which he graciously signed for me.

Sadly the play failed to please the critics and as a consequence failed to pull in the audiences. Graham wrote to me in January 1976: "It's disappointing about the play, especially as I receive reports all the time of enthusiastic audiences. Sadly, one can't win against our illiterate critics all of whom seem to hate the theatre. Anyway, for me it was a very happy experience, I've never enjoyed rehearsals more”.
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1976
CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE
Monsieur Perrichon’s Travels
by Eugene Labiche
Directed by Patrick Garland
Role: Daniel Savary
Cast included Rex Harrison, June Jago, Tony Robinson, Bill Fraser
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
Rex Harrison, whom I had admired on the screen for years, was an absolute delight to work with. I had been warned that he had a reputation of being awful and bad tempered and demanding. But I found him to be quite the contrary. He loved the company and the play and joined in all the parties. I remember him giving us a rendition of, I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face, from My Fair Lady. Sadly the play was not a good enough vehicle for him or indeed for anyone, and faded very quickly from sight.

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1976
THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET
The Circle
by Somerset Maugham
Directed by Peter Dewes
Role: Edward Luton.
Cast included Googie Withers, Susan Hampshire, John McCallum, Martin Jarvis, Bill Fraser
REVIEW
Mr Francis makes much play with the embarrassed gallantries of yesteryear, making it quite clear that he is appearing in a comedy.
Irving Wardle, The Times
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
I have many fond memories of this production and of my times in Chichester, and also some quite alarming ones as well. Like the time I had to stop the show in front of a packed audience and ask that some drunk be removed from the auditorium, a moment of pure heroism in the eyes of the Chichester audience resulting in me receiving the loudest ovation at the curtain-call than anyone.
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1977
CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE
The Deep Blue Sea
by Terence Rattigan
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Role: Freddie Page
Cast included Shelia Hancock, Lindsay Duncan, Edward Jewesbury
REVIEW
Mr Francis makes as much if not more of the man’s helpless feelings. Indeed, he seems to possess the very feelings which are supposedly absent in the character.
Eric Shorter, The Daily Telegraph
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
I’ve been fortunate enough to play Freddie Page twice in my career and both with two exquisite leading ladies Shelia Hancock and Dorothy Tutin. My father had appeared in the original production 23 years earlier playing Freddie’s friend, Jackie Jackson.
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1977
GUILDFORD YVONNE ARNAUD THEATRE
Romeo and Juliet
by WilliamShakespeare
Directed by Peter Coe
Role: Romeo
Cast included Michele Dotrice, Doris Hare, Mark Wynter, Edgar Wreford
REVIEW
Francis is an up and coming young actor who can be sensitive and romantic without appearing effeminate.
Guildford Daily Mail
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1978
THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET
Look After Lulu
by Noel Coward
Adapted from Feydeau's Occupe-toi d'Amelie'
Directed by Patrick Garland.
Role: Marcel
Cast included Geraldine McEwan, Nigel Stock, Peter Bowles, Fenella Fielding.
REVIEWS
Clive Francis’ strictly balanced farcical wrongheadedness is perfect. He freezes into pose at the peak of a laugh and preserves it long after its textual due. He hunches over in anticipation of calamity or in prayer for rescue. Though McEwan admirably acts Coward’s adaptation of the Feydeau, Francis brilliantly performs the original.
Arthur Schmidt. Players and Players

Clive Francis is a neckless embodiment of crablike intrigue.
Irving Wardle, The Times

CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
I discovered how to play Marcel Blanchard completely by accident. Originally Malcolm McDowell had been cast in this role and I would imagine him too being physically wrong. I spent the first three weeks of rehearsals agonizing over how to capture this character until I came across, quite by chance, some photos of the original Comédie-Française production. Here Marcel was presented as a small, pinched, almost tadpole like creature, not at all the good-looking gallant, as I had been rehearsing him. Now it all made sense. I discarded the costume, the earlier performance, and with barely a week to go, dived in and created something completely different. The result was brave but mad, as it could have been perceived as a caricatured disaster, but my guts told me that I was on the right tracks within the true concept of French farce. Luckily I was right.

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1978
MANCHESTER ROYAL EXCHANGE
The School Mistress
by Arthur Pinero
Directed by James Maxwell
Role: Hon Vere Queckett
Cast included Patricia Routledge, Michael Robbins, Felicity Dean, Sophie Thompson
REVIEWS
Clive Francis as a fleet-footed monocled ass seems to have stepped very amusingly out of an Aldwych farce, with his apparent joint tribute to Ralph Lynn and Robertson Hare.
Eric Shorter, The Daily Telegraph

Clive Francis’ exquisitely foppish and effete Hon Vere Queckett, monocle glued to eye and feet-a-twinkling, is a comic creation of a very high order.
Alan Hulme, Manchester Evening News

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1978
BROMLEY CHURCHILL THEATRE
The Norman Conquests
by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Philip Grout
Cast included Polly James, David Delve, Elizabeth Power.
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
I wrote to Alan Ayckbourn and thanked him for writing this wonderful play and for creating such a deliciously funny character as Norman, a gift part for any actor. He wrote back and said: It’s particularly gratifying to hear you had a happy time with Norman, as after playing him for 12 weeks an actor has every justification in wanting to jump on the author’s head.
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1978
THE GLOBE THEATRE
The Rear Column
by Simon Gray
Directed by Harold Pinter
Role: Troup
Cast included Jeremy Irons, Simon Ward, Donald Gee, Barry Foster
REVIEW
Rarely have I seen a show so perfectly cast.
Irving Wardle. The Times
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
Harold Pinter was not only a brilliant avant-garde writer but a wonderfully instinctive director, one of the best that I’ve ever had the good fortune to work with. The Rear Column also brought me together with Simon Gray and my performing in seven different productions of his plays over the years. It also brought me back to the Globe Theatre and once again my name in lights!
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1980
AMBASSADORS THEATRE
Dangerous Corner
by J. B. Priestley
Directed by Robert Gillespie
Role: Robert Caplan.
Cast included Jennifer Daniel, Ann Lynn, Anthony Daniels, Stacy Dorning
REVIEW
Clive Francis, with his suave silky voice and manners, creates a brilliant and ultimately moving picture of an upper middle class period piece.
Nicholas de Jongh, The Guardian
CLIVE FRANCIS REMEMBERS
The only time I’ve ever experienced in the theatre where at the curtain call the audience call out ‘Author. Author!’ And unbeknown to us in the cast J.B. Priestley walked on and joined us. ‘Did you enjoy it, sir?’ I asked meekly. ‘No, not much,’ he replied bluntly. ‘You were all very good of course. But the play’s a bit of a rum dog now. Still, well done.’
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1980
EDINBURGH LYCEUM THEATRE
Travesties
by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Patrick Lau
Role: Henry Carr
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1981
GREENWICH THEATRE
The Deep Blue Sea
by Terence Rattigan
Directed by Alan Strachan
Role: Freddie Page
Cast included Dorothy Tutin and Peter Cellier
REVIEW
Clive Francis gives a very daring performance and in its last phase mesmerizing.
Nicholas de Jongh, The Guardian
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1983
DUKE OF YORK”S THEATRE
The School for Scandal
by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by John Barton
Role: Joseph Surface
Cast included Donald Sinden, Beryl Reid, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Bill Fraser, Nicola Pagett
REVIEWS
Clive Francis Joseph Surface is a compact and consistent piece of work, verging on the mannered but well thought out – as in the calculated sensuality of the way he peels off Lady Teazle’s glove and plays with her fingers.
Martin Hoyle, The Financial Times

Clive Francis utters his pious maxims in a wiseacre’s voice belying his youthful looks.
Anthony Masters, The Times

As for Mr Francis, his relished hypocrisy and ultimate confusion are a tribute to this actor’s comic instincts.
Eric Shorter, The Daily Telegraph
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1984
LYRIC THEATRE, HAMMERSMITH
The Common Pursuit
Directed by Harold Pinter
Role: Humphry
Cast included Simon Williams, Nicholas Le Prevost, Ian Ogilvy, Robert East, Nina Thomas
REVIEW
Clive Francis is outstanding as the hunched-shouldered, flat-haired, flat vowelled, truth-telling Northerner.
Michael Billington, The Guardian
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1984
VAUDEVILLE THEATRE
The Benefactors
by Michael Frayn
Directed by Michael Blakemore
Role: Colin
Cast included Polly Adams, Jan Waters, Glyn Grain
REVIEW
Clive Francis turns in a haunting performance playing the embittered journalist with envenomed brilliance.
John Peter, The Sunday Times
Copyright © 2016 Clive Francis. All rights reserved. Main photograph of Clive Francis by Simon Annand