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THE first half of Colin McIntyre's CV glistens with names like Olivier, O'Toole, Ashcroft. In the post war years he trod the boards with Pat Phoenix and Ronnie Barker and got tipsy with dear old Larry.

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Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

Despite his 81 years, Colin acts as company producer and travels from his London home to work with the cast. However, he no longer lives in digs.

He well remembers the tail end of rep, as it was being ushered out by TV.

"Olivier didn't use the word 'famous'," continues Colin, adding: "I hate the word star. That really gets me going, when you read in the papers somebody who's been in Corrie or Eastenders for a week and she's a 'star'. You think, "I don't even know them".

if we argued about it," he laments.

"The thing about the Omega Seamaster Professional 600m 2000ft 007

the 70s with Suddenly At Home, the 50s in The Late Edwina Black and France at the outbreak of World War Two in Avengers' creator Brian Clemens' Strictly Murder.

"It either works or it doesn't."

Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

"We put four plays on in four weeks, which is a marathon.

Street is, they do that in a hurry too," he says. "A lot of its stars were old rep people who knew their job. It gave the careers of people like Pat Phoenix a new lease of life."

Colin's company sees a regular band of actors many of whom have worked together for years meet up every August. After just a few days of rehearsals, they're able to put on a run of four thrillers. And the Notts audiences love it.

After completing his National Service, Colin fell in with the famous Frank H Fortesque Players and spent the 50s and 60s touring almost every town in Northern England.

The Classic Thriller Season has been playing at the Theatre Royal for 21 years now.

He's a big fan of Coronation Street, where many of his old pals ended up. People like Barbara Knox (Rita Fairclough), "lovely" Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner) and Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole) worked alongside him in rep.

"I remember we closed the theatre at Middlesbrough. Nobody came because they were all at home watching television," he recalls.

"Two of the cast started with me 21 years ago. Unless you have those sort of people, you can't do it. You haven't got time to debate the script for two or three hours. If people kept coming back to me and saying, 'But Colin why?' it would drive me nuts.

"I started there as a juvenile lead but part of the deal of joining was that we did all the jobs and God forbid Omega Speedmaster Vs

Nottingham is the only destination on the company's tour.

"It's hotels, nowadays!" he laughs.

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But, for four weeks every summer, old style rep returns to Nottingham in the shape of Colin's production company.

"What we do here, now there are very few people actually doing this," says Colin.

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The clash of theatreland's old and new; the actors' transition from small town companies to small screen gossip fodder, is something that preoccupies Colin.

More fool them. This year's season includes a "best of" mix of murders from down the decades. Victorian intrigue comes to the stage in Hound Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage of the Baskervilles, before moving through Omega Black Art

And he admits: "There was an awful lot of bad about rep. You didn't get paid very much.

Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

´╗┐Colin Mcintyre Nottingham Theatre Royal thriller season

"We used to go to the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, each summer but they dropped it because of the festival," he says.

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"But there were some good things about learning the trade the hard way. These days, apart from going to drama school, there isn't the opportunity for young people to learn how to act. And just because you've been to drama school doesn't necessarily mean you can act."

Not that he views the past with rose tinted spectacles.

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For Colin is one of the surviving purveyors of the repertory system that defined regional theatre in the decades following the war.

Omega Constellation Chronometer Automatic Vintage

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