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By the time Jeff and his wife, actress Judy Buxton met for the first time professionally, both their careers were firmly established.

For Judy, acting quite simply been a way of life from a very early age. While at nursery school, she was given elocution lessons along with the other youngsters as a matter of course and by the time she was three, had already given her first stage performance by way of a poetry recital and so the die was cast. Judy went on to attend Saturday drama classes throughout her childhood where she was taught by a former graduate of RADA. As a result, when Judy began formal training at the Rose Bruford College, she already had many awards and qualifications to her name. Her professional debut came with Chesterfield Rep in a play called Dance of Death in which she portrayed a maid and an old village woman. She remained at Chesterfield for nine months and like Jeff, considers her experience in rep a great grounding for what was to follow.

West End success has included roles in The Ghost Train; A Murder is Announced, Run For Your Wife, The School for Scandal, Baggage and The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Judy made her debut with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Iphigenia in John Barton’s highly acclaimed production of The Greeks at the Aldwych and it was during this time that she was asked to perform the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at Stratford Upon Avon which she still considers to be one of her greatest theatrical achievements to date. This was to prove the beginning of a three year era at the RSC where roles included Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, the Sweet Girl in La Ronde and Principal Boy in the R.S.C’s pantomime The Swan Down Gloves.

Her many and varied TV appearances include roles in By The Sword Divided, General Hospital, Lovejoy, Bergerac, Blake’s Seven, Rising Damp, Next of Kin and three series of On The Up opposite Dennis Waterman. Film credits include Aces High, The Likely Lads, The Big Sleep and Get Real.

Much of Judy’s recent work has been in the theatre and it was while working on a production of The Gingerbread Lady in the mid nineties that Jeff and Judy’s paths crossed on a professional basis for the first time. The play enjoyed a short season at Windsor and Sheffield but it was to be almost two years before they were to meet again, this time with the relationship taking a more personal turn. By an  amazing twist of fate, they were cast together in the Ray Cooney farce Out of Order. The Derek Nimmo production took them to such exotic climes as Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Saigon, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Guam and literally transformed both their lives forever. Jeff and Judy were married at Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park in September 2004 since when ironically, they seem to have become as much a partnership on stage as off, having been cast together in plays and pantomimes on numerous occasions. They are quick to stress that this is not a criterion for either of them, merely coincidence but they do confess to particularly enjoy working together as it not only allows them to spend more time with each other but also saves on mobile phone bills! Despite their obvious closeness, both Jeff and Judy keep their working relationship completely professional, treating each other as they would any fellow actor on stage. It is a formula that works exceptionally well as has been proven in the various productions they have appeared in.

To that end they have toured extensively both in the UK and abroad in such productions as Ray Cooney’s Caught in the Net, Funny Money and Run For Your Wife, Ayckbourn’s Confusions, Cooney and Chapman’s There Goes The Bride at the Vienna English Theatre and Edward Taylor’s Murder by Misadventure. Added to this, they have become quite a double act when it comes to panto. Since their marriage the couple have appeared together as Dame and Fairy every year with the tradition continuing in 2008 / 2009. The early part of 2008 saw the couple pursuing separate projects, Jeff touring in the classic farce See How They Run and Judy in PG Wodehouse’s Come on Jeeves but the summer saw them reunited on stage in the 25th Anniversary Calibre Production of the hilarious comedy Allo Allo by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd. Here they took on the mantles of Rene Artois and Michelle of the Resistance alongside actress Vicki Michelle who  reprised her original role as Yvette. The show initially toured  for fourteen weeks opening in Stevenage at the Gordon Craig Theatre on 29th August. Such was its success that following a short break for pantomime, the tour resumed for a further four months finally coming to an end in June 2009.

Jeff and Judy's final joint project for the year was the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk in Redditch and is to be followed in February 2010 with a short tour of the Ron Aldridge play It's Never Too Late for Ian Dickens Productions Ltd. The couples most recent appearance together was as Rafe and Daisy Crompton in the classic Bill Naughton play, Spring and Port Wine. Staged at The Mill at Sonning both received much critical acclaim for their dramatic portrayals as the proud, tyrannical  Yorkshireman and his long-suffering wife.

Jeff and Judy

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