Photo: Ken Campbell and Anna Chen
Saddest news that my ex boyfriend, actor, playwright and theatre director Ken Campbell, died on Sunday age 66.
A wild-eyed, corncrake-voiced genius of the British theatre, he drew me into his orbit after we met through my screenwriting mentor Robert McKee. Romance was sealed over long walks along the River Lee with his dogs Werner and Fred, and a torrent of imaginative love tokens designed to delight, entertain and stimulate my noggin.
Generous with his gifts and appreciative of the talents of others, he encouraged my dramaturgical development. I enjoyed working with him on his one-man show, Recollections of A Furtive Nudist, accompanying him to Bavaria where we saw it translated and performed in German at the Prince Regent Theatre in Munich.
He was a whirlwind of energy, a force of nature who could make you love him or piss you off in equal measure as all his friends will attest. I can still hear him growling, "Yeah, well, madam!" when in fight mode. Or "All right, Pulchritude?" when not.
Some of our finest actors passed through his portals in The Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, or his Road Show, or his famous marathon stage "happenings" such as The Warp and Illuminatus. This illustrious bunch includes Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, David Rappaport, Bob Hoskins, John Sessions, Chris Langham and Sylvester McCoy. Talking of the Real McCoy, we all thought Ken would have made a great Dr Who and it is a pity we'll never see him in that role. He WAS Dr Who. I only wish he could regenerate like The Doc.
Rest In Peace, Ken.
BBC News Online
Guardian — Michael Coveney
Guardian — Theatre