Letters: Roy Dotrice obituary

<span class="element-image__caption">Roy Dotrice playing John Aubrey in Brief Lives.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Ian Tyas/Getty Images</span>
Roy Dotrice playing John Aubrey in Brief Lives. Photograph: Ian Tyas/Getty Images

Kevin Bannon writes: Roy Dotrice took a leading role in the BBC television comedy series AP Herbert’s Misleading Cases (1967-71). He played the litigious, self-representing Albert Haddock, whose stupendously ingenious courtroom disputes with state bureaucracies or corporate magnates were presided over by Justice Swallow (Alistair Sim). The judge’s audacious bias in Haddock’s favour was to the chagrin of the ever-frustrated opposing counsel – Sir Joshua Hoot QC (Thorley Walters). It was the most delightfully eccentric of programmes.

John Machin writes: In the early 1950s Roy Dotrice worked at the Savoy theatre in Scunthorpe. He featured in the popular, if unchallenging, plays that were in the repertoire of the a typical repertory company of the times, and demonstrated his versatility in more demanding ones: Johnny Belinda, No Trees in the Street, and the macabre drama of Mary Hayley Bell’s Duet for Two Hands. My sister Rosemary recalls that backstage he was very friendly and thoughtful, encouraging her in her involvement in local amateur dramatics.

Geoffrey Batten writes: I still recall Roy Dotrice’s extraordinary solo performance as John Aubrey in Brief Lives at the Criterion theatre in 1969. He appeared to fall asleep at the end of the first act and remained on stage during the interval until the audience were back in their seats when he roused himself for the second half. At one point in the performance he used a chamber pot, the contents of which he proceeded to tip out of the window. Also memorable was the set by Julia Trevelyan Oman, who created what the author, Patrick Garland, described as a “Jacobean kitchen-sink”. During his performance as Caliban in The Tempest at Stratford in 1963 he retreated to the back of the stage for the same purpose.