George Baker, The Way to Wexford
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
> Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
To many, George Baker is the face of TVs Inspector Wexford, but there is much more to the man than meets the eye.
His one-man show was to assist in the funding of the restoration of this Georgian theatre at Bury St Edmunds.
He admitted it was 35 years since he last performed here, and spoke fondly of that time, especially when Noel Coward was there.
George spoke affectionately and in depth about his mother and father and what colourful characters they were. His father was a Yorkshireman and his mother Irish – which explains where he got his wicked sense of humour.
Without formal drama school training but armed with initiative and, in his own words “plenty of fate”, he started in London theatres, moved into films and was in 16 of them.
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Touring theatre days followed, working with many a household name before ending up by chance as Insp Wexford, which ran for 15 years. At times his reminiscing was poignant, especially when telling of his dyslexia and also his wife's terminal illness at the height of his stardom as Wexford.
The show clearly appeals to the more mature audience but what captures your imagination is his depth and sincerity laced with a wicked Irish sense of humour.