Person - John Reed

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JOHN REED

A NTL member whose mother was said to run Buggery Barn at The Rocks and supply the theatre's members with sly grog, Reed played a clergyman in Bury The Dead 1937, a major in Boy Meets Girl 1937, Dr Randall in Behind the Scenes 1937, Dr Alvarez in The Brave and the Blind 1938, was in a revival of Bury the Dead 1938, a storm-trooper in Blood on the Moon 1939, and was in the cast of Colony 1940. A baritone, he stole the show with “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” at the 1940 Naughty Nineties Labor Jubilee Ball at the Trocadero, and was a key player in the 1941 revue I’d Rather be Left in which he sang the censor song like a moribund Peter Dawson. When the revue finished he disappeared from New Theatre.

By 1941 John Reed was a 23-year-old university maths lecturer who had been involved with University Revue for years. He brought the script of I’d Rather be Left to the New, was told to polish it and add more songs, and asked his Sydney University Revue mates James McAuley and Alan Crawford to help him. Reed is said to have written “There’ll always be a Menzies” which became NTL's unofficial anthem.

Russel Ward described John Reed as a Buster Keaton lookalike, pale, tall and gawky. Oriel Gray said that he always seemed to be sharing a private joke with his academic friend Jim McAuley. She heard that Reed later worked at the UK nuclear power station Aldermaston in Berkshire.



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