Many of you who are regular attendees at the Petuaria Players productions will be very saddened to hear of Wyn’s passing on the 4th May at the age of 91.
A colourful gentleman, both literally and in character, his presence brightened and filled any room or stage. Audiences loved his stage-presence, his characters and his distinctive clear voice – someone who never had any complaints from the audience about not being able to be heard from the back row, a man whose voice truly deserved the description ‘stentorian‘!
Indeed, his ability to project his voice reminds me of an occasion at the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire that still makes me smile. I was awaiting the peloton at High Hunsley cross road, jostling for position in a big crowd to get photos of the riders. In the distance, amidst the throng at the other corner of the crossroad, a sonorous voice boomed out across the entire area, easily rising above the noise and babble of excited voices, one which momentarily caused a dip in conversation as they perhaps wondered if this was a hidden tannoy announcement about the race. Instead it was Wyn attracting my attention from a distance with “HELLOOOO STEVE, HOW ARE YOU?”
Wyn was almost 89 at his last performance with us but he was young at heart and amusing and woe betide anyone who attempted to consider his ‘age’. In Take Away The Lady he had to play an elderly gentleman. Perfectly cast? Not a bit of it! Despite the character being technically younger than Wyn he ‘aged’ himself and added 20 years or so into a truly doddering fellow. Hilarious.
In Absurd Person Singular he had to climb up and stand on a small kitchen table. At rehearsal as he unsteadily clambered from chair to table and wobbled a little we all hovered close by in fear, ready to steady him – much to his disgust that we thought he was ‘old’. “I am acting!”
Mwyndeg Griffith Price – known to all as Wyn – was born on 29th March 1931 in Bradley, near Wrexham, and spent his childhood in Wrexham and also in Llangollen which he always called “his spiritual home”.
After a career in education and a long and productive pastime in Amateur Dramatics and Operatics (one in which he was awarded in 2012 the 60 Year Diamond Bar for Dedicated Service to Amateur Theatre from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association) he moved to South Cave to live closer to his son – local professional theatre producer and director, Gareth Tudor Price.
It was Gareth who introduced Wyn to the Petuaria Players. I remember Wyn saying at his first visit to the Forum that after a life in dramatics this would be a wonderful opportunity to remain involved and mix with fellow ‘thesps’, and that he had no intention of acting, simply to be around the process, “unless, of course, you needed a small walk-on part to be filled…”
That was in 2014. Within weeks he was taking on his first full role, and certainly no bit-part! And, until lock down prevented any of us performing or even meeting up, he had parts in eleven productions, his first entrances always creating a discernible ripple of delight through the audience. With his final performance in 2020 he had achieved an amazing 68 years in Amateur Theatre! Those who know Wyn will know full well that he would have performed at the age of 90 but for the pandemic lockdowns.
Below are some photos of his characters in those plays, and only a small view of his extensive and colourful personal wardrobe!
It comes as no surprise that Wyn had apparently made it clear that in the event of his passing that there should be a celebration of his life, not a mourning, that it should be full of amusing anecdotes and a lot of bright colour – black outfits and sadness forbidden! Ever the colourful gent, we shall all miss his charismatic presence – with a smile.
Wyn passed away peacefully on May 4th. His celebration of life and funeral will take place a 12.30 pm on June 17th at Haltemprice Crematorium.
Wyn’s Productions & Characters
2014. D.S.S Inspector Jenkins in Cash On Delivery
2015. Ronald Brewster-Wright in Absurd Person Singular
2015. Stanley in Sylvia’s Wedding
2016. Col. Melkett in Black Comedy
2016. Rod Trusser in Neighbourhood Watch
2016. Mark Webster in Spirit Level
2017. Porter Padgett in The Hallelujah Girls
2017. Albert in Generations Apart
2018. Sir Willoughby Drake in It Runs In The Family
2019. Charles Doubleday in Take Away The Lady
2020. Richard in Say It With Flowers
Cheers Wyn. Thanks for your friendship and wonderful contributions to our group.