Thursday, August 28, 2014

Richard Anderson


31.12.1939 – 20.8.2014



With the passing of Richard Anderson Canberra theatre has lost one of its best actors, liable to turn up whenever there was a need for a strong character role to be played with class, humor and style.

Frequently that was at Canberra Repertory but he also worked with companies such as Everyman, The Players Company/UC Players and Centrepiece. Canberra Rep credits him on Facebook with ’some 50 plays in the Canberra region’ and reminds that he also designed the occasional set.

He brought an avuncular presence and a fine line in the rolling eye to period plays like Tartuffe (1995), The Miser (2005) and School for Scandal (2006). But he could also happily inhabit more modern settings like those of Under Milkwood (1992), Jeffrey Archer’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1995) and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (2010).

He seemed equally at home among the extremes of toga territory in Duncan Ley’s When in Rome (2005) and the strange suburban terrors of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane (2000).  He made Harold Hobson a convincing domestic tyrant in the old classic Hobson’s Choice (2008). His rich TV voice-overs promised ‘Botanicus Perfectus’ to any who shopped at a particular gardening store.

And I am pretty sure he was to be glimpsed as Havelock Vetinari the Patrician, urbanely, ruthlessly, but with a twinkling eye, running the city of Ankh Morpork in a long ago production at Theatre 3 of Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms.

His presence will be missed. 

Alanna Maclean

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