Tuesday, 6 March 2012

In Memory of Philip Madoc

Philip Madoc, our first Patron,  sadly died on 5th March 2012 following a short illness.

Philip was born on 5th July 1934 in Merthyr Tydfil. He was educated in Wales, followed by a spell in the University of Vienna where he trained as an interpreter before entering RADA (after realising he'd never achieve his real ambition of playing test cricket). His television appearances are countless - indeed it was said of Philip that he has made at least one guest appearance in every British programme ever made!

His most acclaimed TV performance was as in the title role in The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George (BBC, 1981), with a theme tune by Ennio Morricone that you'll still hear from many buskers on the Tube! 
Alongside many appearances in Doctor Who (mostly as baddies), perhaps his most famous guest role was in 1973 as a German Commander in Dad's Army's famous "Don't Tell Him Pike!"

His classically resonant, instantly identifiable bass voice has been heard widely as a narrator of high-class audio books, mostly for the Naxos label. One of these is a recording of Gibbon's Decline and Fall (abridged to a 18 hours) - a monumental performance alongside Arabian Nights and even 'The Old Testament.'

Philip MadocPhilip was a fiercely patriotic Welshman, and is an accomplished linguist speaking seven or eight languages. We were amazed when, a couple of years ago, he addressed our teacher Tove fluently in her native Swedish and then chatted for ages in a language he hadn't used for years!
We were thrilled that Philip bercame our Patron , a role he was very committed to. He visited out classes and spoke warmly and encouragingly to the children (although, let's face it, not many of them knew who he was - parents did though!)came to our shows over a number of years and was always warm, encouraging and fascinating. He once said the "a Patron is a bit like a bidet - no one knows what it does but it adds a bit of class!"
He became our Patron when we found out he lived next door to Julia, our then Drama teeacher, at a time when we were searching for someone suitable. He'd always been an idol of ours - for the voice and for Lloyd George and we thought he epitomised all that was good in acting - hard work and peer respect.
As both Annette and I loved his work,  we were so pleased that the man himself was everything you'd want him to be - warm, caring, fiercely intelligent, modest and very, very funny.
Our condolences go to his family - we have very fond memories of a wonderful Welshman and a proud Patron.
Gorwedd mewn hedd, Philip!