Scary stage stories and happy family memories for Jack

Terrence Hardiman (left) with Jack Shepherd, in The Signalman
Terrence Hardiman (left) with Jack Shepherd, in The Signalman
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A Ghost Story Double Bill, 
Buxton Opera House

Actor Jack Shepherd stars in this show and talks here about his role and critically acclaimed career.

Tell us about your characters. In Charles Dicken’s The Signalman I play the signalman who is haunted by a ghost. The year is 1870 and he’s an ageing, self-educated man spending too much time on his own. It’s a very chilling story with a big sting in the tale!

My character in Robert Aickman’s The Waiting Room is a middle-class technocrat (not a nice person) who finds himself deeply haunted.

What devices are used to make it a spine-chilling experience? The sound effects that run throughout are very powerful and very much heighten the drama.

Are you looking forward to visiting the area? Half my family, the Mycocks, are from Matlock. My great aunt Ada was a midwife who lived on a farm there and actually delivered me. When she retired she ran a chicken farm but became too tender-hearted and last time I visited the chickens had moved in to the house and were living in the curtain pelmets. I last came to Buxton in 1995, when my wife made a film called Happy Feet about ballroom dancers.

You have enjoyed a glittering career in theatre and television and worked with many legendary actors. What has been your favourite role to date? I am best known for my part in Wycliffe but my biggest achievement was in 1984, when I won a Society of West End Theatre Award (now known as the Olivier Award) for my role as Richard Roma in the play Glengarry.

The show runs tonight to Wednesday. Call 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk