Brian Parker

Brian Parker

died 4 January 2002

Richmond Shakespeare Society

Brian was a gentleman of the old school. Passionately involved with cultural and environmental issues, he cycled everywhere, baked his own bread, cared for his guests, and brought his dulcet tones to many shows at RSS.

I worked with and directed Brian in The Best Will in the World, and got to know him well as he was kind enough to host many of the rehearsals at his home. His unaccompanied rendition of Take, o take those lips away will always remain with me.

I also enjoyed performing with him in some of the "Monday Evening Bar" shows, where members of the society produce their own entertainments, talks or whatever, using "volunteers" from the Society. Brian's final performance, I believe, was in Arthur Boardman's evening of poetry telling the story of Tristram & Isolde in May 2001. Brian was already ill with leukaemia by that time, and had been unable to attend many rehearsals. However, he was not deterred, and asked me to visit him in Kingston Hospital to rehearse. I therefore found myself on a bright spring day, sitting in a plastic hospital gown, reading in the older Isolde to Brian's deathbed Tristram - an extraordinary and moving experience. True to form, he took part in the performance, and with his usual professionalism and flair.