Person - Graham Richards

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After joining NT in 1964, Graham Richards was involved in a string of productions, backstage and treading the boards. In 1965 he acted in The Advocate and stage managed the revue You've never had it so good; in 1966 he stage managed Barbara and acted in Pirates at the Barn; in 1967 he was assistant director on The Alchemist, and in 1969 was a lighting designer on The Bushranger. In 1971 he acted in Tom Paine, The Magic Travel Box, 1971 - A Race Odyssey and Niugini!. Graham was in the cast of The Matchgirls in 1972, followed by roles in You Should Have Seen Us On Venus and The Ballad of Angels' Alley in 1973. He also collected material for What's New. In 1974 he acted in The Magic Travel Box and John Grant's Journey and, on an Arts Council trainee director’s grant, directed The White House Murder Case, pulling out as an understudy in The Empire Builders. The next year he directed Was He Anyone?, and gave an inspired performance as the lobotomised Ruckley with wet pyjama pants and a perpetual dribble in the long-running One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in repertory with The Freedom of the City which he directed.

Graham was the driving force behind Street Theatre which he took over in 1969. By 1972 the group was doing weekly outdoor "shows" in the city. Graham was also on committee as Vice President and President, resigning that position at the end of 1974. He worked as a puppeteer with Paul Quinn and was a strong advocate for children's theatre.

In 1976, after Graham went to live permanently in Hobart to take up the position of director of the Tasmanian Youth Centre at Battery Point, Ros Diffey became Street Theatre organiser. Miriam Hampson farewelled him with a telegram: “So what’s new Graham’s left freedom of this city flew into new nest good on yer mate stop new theatre”.

In 1981 Graham finished up working with the Australia Council, and in 1982 opened Mr Wooleys, a Hobart coffee lounge. He wrote and produced plays for a theatre restaurant, and was a top chess player. A Life member, he was sent NT's Spotlight! newsletter until his death on 12 May 2013. Survived by his second wife Maree, he remembered New Theatre in his will.

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