I went with the designer of the show on a prop-buying expection in central London. We went to a variety of prop hire companies and even into Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush. It was quite an experience for a rather 'green' youngster at the time to be going into this famous building, and particularly into areas that you wouldn't probably get access if you didn't know a member of staff there, as he obviously was. We went into the B.B.C. club, the staff-only bar and restaurant and design department. All of this is now closed down as the B.B.C. vacated the building earlier this year.
I would imagine that "A Voyage Round My Father" was eventually going to transfer into the West End. It wasn't clear one way or the other, but it would have been great if it had and all those who had worked on it in Greenwich had gone with it, including myself, but it didn't have a West End transfer. We were visited by several prominent actors who would have been cast as the central character of the father, such as Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave and Alex Guinness. I believe that Alex Guiness did eventually play the part in the West End and Laurence Olivier was in a brand new television version which was made by Thames Television. I do remember Olivier coming backstage having seen a performance. The play has since been revived more recently, with Derek Jacobi in the role of the father and staged at the Donmar Warehouse.
During this period there were many strikes, it was during the 'Winter of Discontent' of the 1970's, and at one point there were many different groups of workers on strike, particularly dustmen, and I recall seeing piles of rubbish along the side of streets in London due to this strike, rubbish which hadn't been collected due to these strikes. Also, power workers went on strike and there were a lot of power cuts. As a result, places such as theatres were not considered important enough to have electricity and some were closed early to preserve electricity. Also, lights in shops were turned off early in the evening. It was at this time that Greenwich Theatre installed a generator to provide power to light the stage lighting and emergency lighting and so allowing performances to continue uninterrupted. One performance was, though, underway, when there was a powercut. This must have been before the generator was installed. The actors continued, presumably expecting the electricity to be restored, but it didn't come on, and the audience seemed to enjoy the performance, and it must have been rather like experiencing a live radio play. Quite amazing, and brilliant that the actors managed to continue in the dark!
During this time I had an interview at R.A.D.A. (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) to join their stage management course. I didn't get accepted. They said, as I was already working in theatre, there wasn't much they could teach me that I didn't already know. I don't know, on reflection, whether it would have made any difference to me, but as I had got around three years of experience behind me, I'm not sure whether I would have benefitted.