Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

A tribute to the life of Graham Laker, who died on Wednesday night.....     

The untimely death of Graham Laker has robbed the Welsh theatre of a gifted director, an incisive and brave critic and a talented and popular lecturer.

After graduating in Drama and French, and gaining an M.A. in French Classical Drama from the University of Bristol, Graham worked as a lecturer in Drama at the University College of North Wales at Bangor until 1990 when he was appointed Artistic Director of Cwmni Theatr Gwynedd. He directed over twenty productions for the company, including new plays by Delyth Jones, Dewi Wyn Williams, Iwan Edgar, and William R. Lewis; Welsh classics, such as Y Twr, Cwm Glo, O Law i Law, and Enoc Huws, and Welsh translations of The Cherry Orchard, Ghosts, The Glass Menagerie, The Imaginary Invalid, Happy Days, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and most recently an acclaimed production of Peter Schaffer's Amadeus. HIs directing work in English included Relatively Speaking, One for the Road, Educating Rita, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Chicago, and Oliver.

He joined the Department of Theatre Film and Television Studies in 1997, where he specialised in teaching the theory and practice of directing. It was during this time also that he began to publish regular articles in Planet, Barn and the New Welsh Review.

As a director, he was committed to the ideal of a popular, well-supported and ambitious theatre providing a mix of new, contemporary and classical work. He was fondly regarded and well-respected by those who worked with him, both professional actors and students. As a reviewer of the Welsh theatre, he was lively, perceptive and uncompromising, and wrote engagingly and elegantly.

My experience of Graham was of a generous, thoughtful and courteous man.

His relaxed everyday manner masked a great passion for all things theatrical, an acute discernment and a great but unaffected sensitivity.

He bore his recent illness with tremendous courage: at a time of great suffering he was always optimistic and good-humoured. He will greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues.

<b>Martin Morely adds...</b>
I would just like to add a few words as a tribute to Graham Laker, who I have known as a friend and colleaque since his days in the drama dept at Bangor Universiry, and through his years as director at Theatr Gwynedd, and whose loss has come as such a shock to all those who knew him.
It was always a pleasure to design for him and there are many collaborations that I remember with great affection, particuarly "O Law i Law","Y Gelli Gierios",the Moliere double bill "Pwy Sy'n Sal" with which he shared the direction with Firenza Guidi and lastly "Amadeus" which was a labour of love for all concerned. He had the talent to encourage and inspire confidence in those who worked with him, never for him. He worked best on a large scale, and I only hope that his vision of a vibrant, popular theatre can come to fruition.
web site
Roger Owen | Martin Morley
Friday, November 30, 2001back



Older news stories have been carefully archived.
2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999


Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2013 keith morris / red snapper web designs /