Robin Davies

The Stage
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To a generation of television viewers in the seventies, Robin Davies is remembered as Edward “Carrot” Bennet, the permanently bemused, teenaged side-kick of medieval wizard Catweazle.

For Davies himself, who has passed away at the age of 56, the role of Carrot was an early success in a long career which took in theatre, television and film.

He was born Robert Richard Davies on January 16, 1954, in Merionethshire, North Wales and trained to be an actor at the Aida Foster Stage School.

At the age of 14 he portrayed Machin in the classic Lyndsay Anderson film If. The following year he dyed his hair bright red in preparation for the first of 13 episodes of Catweazle, the cult TV series which would guarantee him small-screen immortality.

Further television fame beckoned between 1971 and 1976 when Davies starred alongside screen mum Wendy Craig in the popular sitcoms …And Mother Makes Three and …And Mother Makes Five.

Then in 1979 he showed himself equally adept in a serious role when he memorably played the character of Splodge in a four-part TV adaption of H.E Bates’ A Moment in Time.

Theatre work towards the end of the seventies included appearances alongside Richard Wilson in the Michael Attenborough-directed production of Twenty Six Efforts at Pornography, at Colchester Theatre. Then, during the eighties, he undertook extensive stage work with the New Vic Theatre Company, in acclaimed productions from directors such as Ian Giles and Michael Bogdanov.

Davies’ writing career steadily blossomed, eventually leading to him pen the text for a hugely successful revival of Bogdanov’s production of The Canterbury Tales, which enjoyed a run at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End in 1994.

Meanwhile, the screen parts kept on coming, in 1998 his long-time friend and erstwhile screen brother David Parfitt cast him as Master Plum in Shakespeare In Love, later calling him “a brilliant actor”.

Throughout the nineties Davies became increasingly involved as a writer and director of pantomime. He enjoyed a twenty-year association with the Leeds City Varieties theatre, where actor Michael Hobbs remembered him as “incredibly passionate and committed to the idea of high-quality family entertainment”.

Davies died of cancer on February 22 this year and is survived by his wife of 28 years, Venetia, and their three children India, Alice and Will.

James Griffiths

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster