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Big Issue vendor Clive receives pink plaque honour on his Plymouth pitch

The veteran Big Issue vendor and his dog Geezer have been celebrated with a new tourism landmark on his pitch outside the Theatre Royal Plymouth

Popular Big Issue vendor Clive and his pet dog Geezer have become tourist attractions in Plymouth after being honoured with a pink plaque on their pitch.

The pair, who became a hit while selling the magazine outside the Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP), received the tribute as part of a local council effort to celebrate the “people who make the Devon city great”.

Both Clive and Geezer’s exploits with The Big Issue and on the theatre’s stage are honoured on the plaque, which reads: “Clive sold his first Big Issue outside TRP on 8th August 2016. He first appeared in The Drum with “Geezer” having a walk-on party 4th – 6th July 2019.”

Clive-plaque-drop-in

Clive, 58, told The Big Issue: “There are about 20 in a row outside the theatre and we’re the first one.

“It’s quite amazing! That’s the brilliant thing about selling The Big Issue outside the theatre, you never know what’s going to come along.”

Around 150 pink plaques have popped up around Plymouth in recent weeks as part of an art project to celebrate the local community.

The idea was briefly introduced two years ago, when 50 plaques went on display for just three days across the Devon city.

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Since then, local artist and creator Kate Entwistle has expanded the project with grassroots funding set up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s maiden voyage and support from Plymouth City Council, The Box, Plymouth Culture and Vital Sparks.

Cllr Mark Deacon, Plymouth City Council’s cabinet member for customer services, culture, leisure and sport, said: “This is a wonderfully popular project and it succeeds in making art available to everyone in Plymouth.

“We want to celebrate everything that’s great about our city, this includes our people and our places, pink plaques do both!”

Clive is an enthusiast, committed and generousTheatre Royal Plymouth

It’s not the first time Clive has been honoured locally, having been named on Plymouth’s Happy List in 2019.

The Big Issue vendor specifically requested to sell the magazine outside the theatre after falling in love with acting when he was given free tickets to a show.

Selling the magazine on the pitch has allowed him to leave his life of rough sleeping and addiction behind while he has become increasingly involved with the theatre’s programmes.

Clive is a pivotal member of the Theatre Royal’s Our Space programme that works with adults with multiple and complex needs and has become a familiar face in shows at the theatre. 

The group is working on a new show which he is hoping to debut at the end of the year now Covid restrictions have allowed theatre shows to return. Clive has also been turning his attention to comedy writing while taking a short break from The Big Issue.

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“I’m a Big Issue ambassador at the moment and I’m just taking a little break. I want to give someone else a little chance to sell the magazine on that pitch,” Clive added.

“For somebody else who would like to take it on they will be able to see it’s really good fun and enjoy it.”

A spokesperson for Theatre Royal Plymouth told The Big Issue: “Alongside Clive’s usual vendor work, he has also been involved with TRP through the Our Space and Project X projects for many years now. He is an enthusiast, committed and generous, often volunteering at other events and is a great ambassador for the engagement work we do at TRP.”

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