TV's The Royal actor Robert Daws speaks about his stage role in a 'fete' worse than death

Television and stage actor Robert Daws heads a star-studded cast in a production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Ten Times Table which will tour to Derbyshire.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:28 pm
Robert Daws stars as Ray in Ten Times Table.

Robert is most loved for his role as Dr Gordon Ormerod in The Royal as well as his time in other hit shows such as Poldark, Outside Edge and Roger Roger.

He will be joined in Ten Times Table by Deborah Grant, best known for playing Wendy in Not Going Out and Deborah Bergerac in Bergerac. Emmerdale and Holby City star Gemma Oaten is joined by Robert Duncan of Drop The Dead Donkey fame and theatre veteran Mark Curry, well known for his appearances in Hollyoaks and as Kevin in Last Of The Summer Wine. Craig Gazey, famous for his portrayal of Graeme Proctor in Coronation Street completes the cast, alongside Elizabeth Power known for playing Christine Hewitt in EastEnders.

Ahead of the play’s visit to Chesterfield in March, Robert (pictured below) gave an insight into the storyline.

“Ten Ten Times Table is about a small market town trying to stage a folk pageant,” he said. “My character, Ray, is looking for something to base the pageant on and he finds a story in an old book that describes the Massacre of the Pendon Twelve. It’s about an uprising by agricultural workers in the 1870s which is put down rather brutally. So I persuade the committee that we should try and recreate this very colourful piece of local history in the market square. We all end up in costumes, trying to put on this pageant and it has almost as many casualties as the original Massacre of the Pendon Twelve!

“It’s basically about how a group of ten people sitting on the committee, with all the best intentions in the world, manage to completely cock it all up. Anyone who’s ever sat on a committee will recognise the people in this play. You’ve got the pedantic secretary. You’ve got the half-drunken committee member with marriage problems. My wife is on the committee with me and we are diametrically opposed in what we both think is the best way to go.”

Robert said that the character he plays is very organised and full of enthusiasm.”Ray is a sweet-hearted man who’s passionate about his town. Unfortunately, although he is made chairman, he’s fairly useless and quite easily dominated. He is the worst possible chairman you could have. He just tries to listen to everyone and by trying to make sure everyone is happy, he falls down and struggles to keep control.”

Ten Times Table runs at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre from March 9 to 14. Tickets from £22. Call 01246 345222 or visit

Robert Daws, far left, with Deborah Grant, foreground, and the cast of Ten Times Table.
Elizabeth Power and Robert Duncan in Ten Times Table.
Robert Daws, left, in Ten Times Table.