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Antony Sher in rehearsal for Pinter One (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Antony Sher in rehearsal for Pinter One (Photo: Marc Brenner)

West End Theatres to Dim Lights in Memory of Sir Antony Sher

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 3 December 2021, Last Updated 9 December 2021

West End theatres will dim their lights for two minutes at 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday 8 December), in memory of renowned actor Sir Antony Sher, whose death was announced on Friday. 

Famed RSC actor, Sir Antony Sher has passed away at 72 following a terminal cancer diagnosis, which he had shared publicly in September this year.

He was cared for over the last months by his husband, RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, who announced the news this afternoon.

Born in Cape Town in 1949, Sir Antony Sher left South Africa for London as a young man to study acting. He had a long and illustrious career in British theatre, most notably with the RSC.

Sir Antony appeared in television and film as well as the stage and has written books – both memoirs and fiction – and several plays as well as directing both plays and documentaries.

He recieved two Olivier awards; for his performance as Richard III in 1985 and again in 1997 for his portrayal of Stanley Spencer in Stanley. He was knighted in 2000 for his services to acting.

With a career that spans over five decades, Sir Antony was still acting in 2020, in the RSC’s production of Kunene And The King.

Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director and Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director, said today:

“We are deeply saddened by this news and our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Greg, and with Antony’s family and their friends at this devastating time.

“Antony had a long association with the RSC and a hugely celebrated career on stage and screen. Antony’s last production with the Company was in the two-hander Kunene and The King, written by his friend and fellow South African actor, writer and activist, John Kani.

“Other recent productions at the RSC include King Lear, Falstaff in the Henry IV plays and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Earlier landmark performances included Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Iago in Othello, Prospero in The Tempest and the title roles in Macbeth, Tamburlaine the Great, Peter Flannery’s Singer, Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as his career defining Richard III. He also attracted critical acclaim for his performances at the National Theatre in his one man show Primo, Pam Gems’ Stanley (Olivier Award and TONY nominated) and Uncle Vanya with Ian McKellen. In the West End in Torch Song Trilogy (Olivier award winning for this and Richard III), at the Royal Court in Carol Churchill’s Cloud Nine and his first big hit playing Ringo Starr in Willy Russell’s John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert; and on film in Mrs Brown and on television in Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man.

“Antony was a widely exhibited artist and author of multiple books including the theatre journals Year of the King, Woza Shakespeare!, co-written with Gregory Doran, four novels including Middlepost, three plays, a television screenplay and his autobiography Beside Myself.

“Antony was deeply loved and hugely admired by so many colleagues. He was a ground-breaking role model for many young actors, and it is impossible to comprehend that he is no longer with us. We will ensure friends far and wide have the chance to share tributes and memories in the days to come.”


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