Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Terence Rees

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Terence Rees

Article excerpt

It is with great personal sadness that I sit down to pen these lines about my dear old friend Terence Rees who passed away on 15th September 2014 at the age of 86. Terence Albert Ladd Rees was born in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan and was educated at the Universities of Cardiff and London. When I first met him in the late 1970s he was researching and lecturing at the Institute of Laryngology and Otology at University College, London. At that time he was living in Clapham providing him with ample opportunity to research and write about his love for all things associated with nineteenth century theatre and in particular his fascination for the work of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Terence was one of the first people to undertake serious academic research about Gilbert and Sullivan, with a particular interest in their "lost" opera Thespis--although the libretto survives most of the music has disappeared. The result was his first book, Thespis: A Gilbert and Sullivan Enigma which is still a standard reference text today.

He was also a great collector of theatre material covering many areas and topics which included Gilbert and Sullivan (of course!), pantomime, opera, and theatre technology. His interest in nineteenth-century technology resulted in his second book Theatre Lighting in the Age of Gas published by the Society for Theatre Research in 1978. At that time that I was involved in the restoration of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House and we first met there when Terence learned of the existence of an early "gas-plate" in the theatre. …

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