Sorry to be doing this, but there seems to be a theme emerging this summer. I’ve just read Brian’s obituary in today’s Guardian:
My memories of Brian are linked to summer 1976 in Newcastle on Tyne, when his theatre company ‘Road Gang’ joined forces with ours ‘Mad Bongo Theatre Group’ for a sparky, hard-hitting musical tribute to the 1926 General Strike, supported memorably by local NUM branches and some famous men of those days, including Will and Alf, the Lawther brothers, who praised our play for its truth and power in a short and passionate speech that moved us to tears.
We hit new heights of fame with the show, ‘Strike Alight’, when we performed in front of 700 people at the Durham Miners’ Gala [including the then head of the Labour Party, Michael Foot] – but those celebrity gigs were not our style, and my memories are more of the rehearsals where we forged our script through impro and research, me with baby Rosie often in my arms, and a pub landlord supplying sandwiches.
Brian was terrific fun to work with, and his compelling singing voice could silence any rowdy pub or club. He was a kind friend, a great babysitter, a committed political theatre activist, and in those days that were overshadowed by illness in our family, he gave us unconditional support.
I wish I could say something appropriate in Welsh – but this will have to do: Thanks for all the memories and the theatre and the songs. May you live on in all of them