5 August 1933 – 17 June 2014.
To our great sadness, JEFFRY WICKHAM, actor and friend to the Theatre Company and its directors for over 30 years has died.
Llandovery Theatre Company – extreme fringe theatre we called it – there was little prestige in being part of our struggling, unfunded theatre; Jeffry was one of the first to notice our existence, and to encourage our work, and from the 1980s he became our Theatre Associate and Adviser.
From that time, whenever impending disaster loomed, and this was fairly often, it was to Jeffry we would go for support and advice. I don’t think there was ever a time he did not answer our distress calls within an instant.
A dear friend, a splendid actor. He will be very much missed.
For Jeffry Wickham – Recollections of a June day.
It was a day to remember –
I can recall it was June and
The sun shone, the air warm –
As we entered the gate, Clare told me the name
Of the rose scrambling over the doorway
And when we walked through to the garden
She cried out: Oh, it’s a little wood.
Was it an arranged visit – I don’t recall,
But leaving Simon down at the theatre
I brought you both up to see our house.
What I do remember is my dismay
For I had no food to offer,
And gazing at Claude – our name for the yoghurt plant
Set on the window-sill, I noted its bulky offerings
But dismissed them as inappropriate.
Yes, it was simple fare only,
Bread and cheese, and as I sliced
I talked at a rapid rate
To cover my embarrassment at the meagre meal –
While you both sat quietly at our kitchen table
And accepted all with grace.
Throughout the next 30 years Jeffry
You gave us your friendship
As we trod the turbulent path of theatre –
Dreams lost and won –
Hopes raised, dashed, applause, bravo, success, rejection!
The same road but different paths –
We, living an almost monastic life
Trying to create live theatre in a Welsh wilderness –
You deep in the established, mainstream Theatre world.
And so we reach another June day –
Your day of departure, the day you flew to your star!
When you arrive, tell Clare,
The rose that clambers round the door of our house
Is now entangled with wisteria –
The little wood is grown to a forest –
And I alone remain here,
In true Thespian style –
Awaiting the ‘call’!
Jacky Harrison Barnes