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TRIBUTE FROM JOHN MOSS (article first published : 2001-07-8)

This tribute to the late Brian O’Shaughnessy comes from John Moss, former artistic director of drama at NAPAC (Natal Performing Arts Council now The Playhouse Company) who is now living in the UK:

I was saddened to learn of Brian's death. I only had dealings with him twice but immediately came to respect his professionalism and no-nonsense approach to his work - quite devoid of "temperament".

As Artistic Director of the former NAPAC Drama Section I first engaged Brian to play Captain Robert Falcon Scott in Terra Nova in 1982, at which time he had not appeared in a stage production for 10 years. I was delighted when he won the Durban Critics Circle Award for Best Actor - particularly as one of these selfsame critics had earlier condemned the play as "Two hours of boredom"!!

Five years later I prevailed on Brian to take part in Antony & Cleopatra, the production which opened the new Drama Theatre at the Natal Playhouse. He played Enobarbus and brought enormous authority to that role.

I was only sorry that I could not lure him back to the stage more often but he had too many radio and TV commitments. He was a family man with five daughters and I recall that he and Eric Flynn, who had played Amundsen opposite him in Terra Nova, were married to two sisters and it took some time to remember who was married to whom when they turned up at rehearsals. I have no doubt that he will be sadly missed by his colleagues and admirers alike. – John Moss




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