Pip Utton – A man of many guises

To meet Pip Utton is a pleasure: a charming, unassuming man. To watch him perform is mesmerising, amusing, harrowing, thought-provoking as chameleon-like, he transforms himself into whichever character he is portraying.

During his visit in February 2022, he showed us another side of Chaplin, cleverly incorporating apparently old black and white footage, but with a suitcase in the shakey film suddenly being thrown onto the stage.

His portrayal of Maggie was brilliant, fielding totally unscripted questions from the audience which of course included the sinking of the Belgrano and the miners’ strike. One question was: “Mrs Thatcher, I know it’s past your time, as you’re dead, but what would you have thought of Boris?” to which ‘she’ replied: “Firstly, I’d send him the address of my hairdresser! He’s a buffoon”.

Pip’s favourite character is the Hunchback Quasimodo. Although a fictional character, we left feeling somewhat emotionally drained by the pain and anguish the deformed hunchback suffered.

Finally, Hitchcock – a world premiere – who explained he needed murder, but not simply by a bullet or quick-acting poison, it had to be a slow and messy death, preferably with a knife. Surprisingly, no scandal surrounded Hitch: happily married for 51 years, he had no need of a casting couch.

We were delighted Pip wanted to combine performing, with a holiday AND celebrate his 70th birthday here and hope it won’t be long before he entertains us again, bringing more famous people back to life. If you missed him this time, don’t make the same mistake again when he returns!

Card designed by a visiting Dutch friend: I asked her to incorporate the four characters.

Gillian Ashworth

Press Officer