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A celebration of Clive Conway Productions and An Audience with...

By: stagedoorscribbler - August 6, 2018

Clive Conway. Photograph by Hattie Miles

Clive Conway Productions is proudly celebrating 17 long and successful years as the force behind the highly successful 'An Audience with...' theatre series.

The concept is simple - you take household names from showbusiness, current affairs, sport and politics to dozens of venues around the country every year.

During the first part of the evening the speakers look back over their life and times - sometimes solo, sometimes in conversation with an interviewer - and later they take questions from the audience; often a book signing follows. 

The result? An intimate and interactive show that provides a memorable experience for any audience. At least that was the idea. In fact the model proved better than even we could have imagined.

The very first An Audience with... in 2001 featured Tony Benn. Since then Clive Conway Celebrity Productions has grown form strength-to-strength, and at its peak was managing 300 productions per year at 100 theatres across the country

Here’s a list of some of our past and present An Audience with… speakers. It’s an impressive list even if we do say so ourselves. 

Desmond Tutu, Lesley Garrett, General Mike Jackson, Trevor McDonald, Tony Benn, Alastair Campbell, Douglas Hurd, Shirley Williams, Ann Widdecombe,

Michael Portillo, Jonathan Miller, David Frost, Martin Bell, Gerald Scarfe,

John Sergeant, Barry Norman, Richard Dawkins, Clive James, John Mortimer, Clement Freud, Mo Mowlem, Clare Short, Michael Heseltine, Diane Abbott,

Nick Ferrari, Steve Allen, James O’Brien, Iain Duncan Smith, William Hague,

George Galloway, Esther Rantzen, Vince Cable, David Davis, brief appearance by John Prescott on Alistair Campbell’s show in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference, Robert Winston, Jonathan Dimbleby, Mary Berry, Anthony Worrall Thompson, Melvyn Bragg, Britt Ekland, Peter Sallis, Charles Dance, Julian Lloyd Webber, Evelyn Glennie, John Julius Norwich, Annette Crosbie, Brian Rix, Maureen Lipman, Hannah Gordon, Robert Powell, Dickie Bird,

Henry Blofeld, Adam Hart Davies, Felicity Kendal, John Humphrys, John Sergeant, Christine Hamilton, June Whitfield, Freddie Truman, Charles Hazlewood, Michael Berkeley, Benjamin Zephaniah, Martin Bell, Richard Eyre, David Steel, Douglas Hurd, Roy Hattersley, David Owen, Norman Tebbit, Denis Healey, Jonathan Aitken, Gerald Scarfe, John Cole, Sheridan Morley, Brian Sewell, Jimmy Young, Lady Antonia Fraser, Ken Russell, Humphrey Burton, Bob Flowerdew, Richard Holmes, Libby Purves, The Barefoot Doctor, Andrew Motion, Richard Whitely, Michael Mansfield, Jan Morris, Tim Smit, Sian Phillips, Shirley Williams, Colin Dexter, Sue McGregor, Jenni Murray, James Naughtie, Max Hastings, Paddy Ashdown, James Whale, John Bly,

Peter Shilton, Steven Berkoff, Jonathan Porritt, Lesley Caron, Prue Leith,

Dan Cruickshank, Johnny Kingdom, Robin Knox – Johnston, John Blashford - Snell, Hilary Kaye, Paul Atterbury, Will Self, Chay Blyth, Benedict Allen, Steven Venables, the BBC tv cast of Edwardian Farm, Charles Collingwood, Simon Weston, Kate Humble, Peter Maxwell -Davies, Toyah Wilcox, David Hempleman - Adams, Nicholas Owen, Peter Snow, Dan Snow, Angela Rippon, Arthur Smith, William Roache, Denis Norden, Bob Wilson, Sarah Kennedy, Philip Madoc, Matthew Collings, Gyles Brandreth, Terry Deary, Richard Dunwoody, Peter Caddick Adams, Kate Adie, Carol Thatcher, John Motson, Michel Rosen, Michael Winner, Fay Weldon, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Kate Williams, Bernard Cribbens, Johnnie Walker, Lucy Worsley, Oz Clarke, Joanna Trollope  and Joan Bakewell

 

There is also an illustrious list of on-stage interviewers including: 

Kirsty Young, Richard Park, June Sarpong, James Pearce, John Cole, David Freeman, Ross Kemp, Wesley Smith, Steve Allen, Anthony Howard, Bill Heine, Iain Dale, Rob McGibbon, Chris Serle, John Sergeant, Nick Ferrari and Trevor McDonald.

 

Meanwhile anthology shows have featured scripts by John Mortimer, Christine Croshaw, Richard Digby Day, James Roose Evans, Hugh Whitemore, Nigel Hess and actors and musicians like  Prunella Scales, John Nettles, Connie Booth, Tim Pigott-Smith, Timothy West,Jane Asher, Martin Jarvis, Jack May, Vladek Sheybal, Richard Baker, John Amis, Brian Kay, Wendy Craig, Francis Matthews, Peter Barkworth, Hannah Gordon, Dorothy Tutin, Derek Waring, Robert Daws, Keith Michelle, Virginia McKenna, Derek Jacobi, David Suchet, Edward Fox, Robert Powell, Charles Dance, Gabrielle Drake, Joanna David, Emilia Fox, Freddie Fox, Angharad Rees,Gemma Jones, John Mortimer, Liza Goddard, Ronald Pickup, Emily Mortimer, Peter Egan, Polly James, Robert Lindsey

Anthony Valentine, Anton Rodgers, Elizabeth Garvie, Sioned Cusack, Phyllida Law, Jill Freud, Stephanie Cole, Louise Jameson, Geraldine James,

Celia Imrie, Rohan McCullough, Alex Jennings, Alistair McGowan, Charlotte Page, Katie Derham, Sian Philips, Nichola McAulliffe, Medici String Quartet, Martin Best, Kevin Amos, Christine Croshaw, Jon Lord (Deep Purple) and Clive Conway. Directors have included Clifford Williams, Marilyn Imrie, Chris Luscombe and Richard Digby Day.

 All of this is the brainchild of impresario Clive Conway who was born in Whitechapel in 1953 and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music alongside Sir Simon Rattle and Annie Lennox.

 After graduation, Clive toured for several years as a flute recitalist and chamber musician and made commercial recordings for Saga and Meridian Records.

Having built up a network of friends and colleagues in the theatrical and musical worlds, Clive felt that he had a unique opportunity to make the move from musician to producer and went on to produce several anthology performances that toured the country extensively in the 1990s befoire launching An Audience with… in 2001.