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GEORGE ROSS (d.1982)


George Ross, who died on 8th February, had been a keen and active member of The Questors for upwards of 30 years. As a playwright, in collaboration with Campbell Singer, he broke altogether fresh ground in the West End with a series of plays with a board room or business setting. Eight or more of his plays were professionally produced.

As a Questor, his greatest service was in helping to establish and in acting as Secretary of our Playwrights Group, founded in 1951, an activity to which he devoted a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. Many famous figures in the theatre were brought down to lecture to The Questors at George's behest. If the Playwrights Groups ultimately petered out, it is nevertheless fair to say that it had contributed to the ambience in which our New Plays Festival became possible in 1959.

George had always been a regular attender at after-show discussions and was, indeed, present at the discussion on Treats less than a week before he died. For many years he had served the theatre as a Steward and it is not only his many friends who will miss his familiar figure at the head of the stairs on first nights.



Amongst that self-effacing body of gentlemen who tear your tickets in half before you enter our theatre is a playwright with three West End successes, and a Broadway repeat under his belt. George Ross's modest demeanour would never suggest that he combines this eminence in one profession with that of
being a full-time accountant.

George, who wrote his plays in collaboration with actor Campbell Singer, arrived in the West End with Any Other Business which ran for six months in 1958 at the Westminster Theatre. This play, under the title of Calculated Risk starring Joseph Cotton and produced by Roy Montgomery, ran for seven months on Broadway.

His next play, Guilty Party, ran for eleven months in 1961-2 at the St Martins Theatre. This was followed by Difference of Opinion which ran for fourteen months at the Garrick Theatre during 1963-5.
(NB This is not an advertisement, but those of you who are sensible enough to switch on to ITV on July 24th, 1967 will see a television production of Difference of Opinion).

George, who comes from South Africa and was educated at Witwatersrand University, until recently enticed many of his celebrated friends from the theatre to come along and talk to us about their work. During the discussion held after each play we do at Questors, George can be seen and heard vigorously expressing his opinions on what we have all just seen in the theatre.