'A Stage Struck Man'
A Profile of Donald Auty (1937 - 2014)
He spent most of his schooldays and youth in Blackpool with his Uncle Jack Taylor who was a great Northern Producer of Summer Seasons, Touring Revues, and Pantomimes, who trained him in all aspects of theatre.
He went to Beirut in the late sixties and was chief of production at the famed Casino Du Liban for four years. At this time this was the most spectacular revue venue in the world with all the shows mounted in Paris and then transferring to the Casino.
When civil war loomed in Beirut he came back to England in the early seventies and went back to work with Moss Empires who had worked for previously. At the time they were co-producing a tour of West Side Story with a young producer who had appeared in Coronation Street called Bill Kenwright. Moss Empires at this time were running down their production department and he joined Bill Kenwright as production manager and remained there for eight years.
In the late seventies he went to Paris to work with Bernard Hilda on tours of musicals and top revues in Europe and the middle East. He was responsible for the last British tour of a Paris Lido Show starring the Blue Bell Girls in 1980 called Hullo Paris.
He returned to the U.K. in the mid eighties and was involved in running the Light Entertainment, Summer show and Pantomime Division of Barry Clayman Concerts and Apollo Leisure. During this time he was general manager for all stage shows starring Michael Barrymore and producer for Pantomimes starring him at the Dominion theatre in London and the Opera House Manchester. Also Summer Seasons in Scarborough and Bournemouth.
When the bottom fell out of summer seasons in the late nineties and pantomime runs became restricted he went back to Paris and worked from there, and from home in England, as consultant with tours of Eastern European Companies to Western Europe, though he was by then a freelancer and tried to work no more than six months of the year.
Sadly Donald Auty passed away in July 2014 but you can see, from his many articles on this site, how enthusiastic he was about his profession and theatre in general. He was also passionate about his hobby, Railways. When the above article was written Donald was working on a spy novel based around the war time variety in Europe and the U.K.
Donald was always a great supporter of this website and had written a number of interesting and informative articles especially for it, an index to which can be found below.
Articles by Donald Auty on this site:
Those Variety days
You may find the following pages from this site of interest: