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Friends of Ellis Creez upset after RSC turns down permission to have a plaque dedicated to the late actor put up at the theatre gardens

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Friends of Ellis Creez were upset to find that the RSC had turned down permission to have a plaque dedicated to the late actor put up at the theatre gardens.

Ellis sadly died aged 43 on 1st July after struggling with his mental health.

He joined Tudor World in 2014 and was familiar to many as one of the Shakespeare actors often seen around Stratford. He also briefly worked as a guide at the RSC. As well as appearing in local dramatic productions, Ellis helped run the Play House for a time when he and his then partner took it over in 2018.

After his death, Janet Ford, who runs Tudor World with her husband John, and his friends raised money for a plaque, with the hope that it could be placed in the gardens by the Avon. The wording for the plaque was decided as: Ellis Creez, 1977-2021, A fellow of infinite jest, “Jolly good show”.

Initially it was thought that the RSC was viewing the request favourably and the eventual refusal has caused upset to his friends.

Janet said she had been led to believe the request was awaiting final approval.

Ellis Creez, right, pictured with friend and fellow performer William Stafford (49350628)
Ellis Creez, right, pictured with friend and fellow performer William Stafford (49350628)

She explained: “We have spent months raising money with GoFundMe for his plaque which all his friends and family have eagerly contributed with much heartfelt memories and good wishes.

“We were then told that Greg Doran had to personally approve the wording but that he was too busy at the moment.

“After all this time, raising funds and awaiting approval of the wording on Ellis' plaque the RSC refusal has come as a terrible blow.”

In response Geraldine Gollinge, director of creative placemaking and public programmes said on behalf of the RSC:

“We have been in touch with Janet Ford, apologising for the miscommunication around the request for a plaque for Ellis Creez and for the upset this must have caused. We have asked to speak to Ellis’ mother directly if she would like to talk to us.

“Reviewing the correspondence, we can see that in asking Janet for further details it appeared as if the plaque had been approved, whereas it still had not been reviewed. We are also sorry for the time that this process took.

“We have looked at our processes so that we can make sure that this does not happen again and we will be making changes immediately to make the process both quicker and clearer.”

Ellis’ friends are now looking at other suggestions and places for a memorial.

Remembering her friend, Janet said: “My overriding memories will be that Ellis did not understand how well he was loved. He always made you smile with his innate sense of silliness, his ready smile and how quick he was to laughter. He had beautiful piercing blue eyes and skinny legs, which he used to great comedic effect at times, as he never took himself seriously. We will miss you Ellis. You have left a great gap in all our hearts and you had so much more to give the world.”

Ellis is survived by his mother, Linda, and brother, Lewis.

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