Tribute to Shakespeare in Italy Co-Founder Actor Julian Curry
As Members and Trustees of Shakespeare in Italy, we are very saddened to hear of the death of our company co-founder, actor Julian Curry.
Our thoughts at this time are very much with his wife Mary Chater, our dear friend and colleague, and Julian's sons Finn and Patrick.
It was thanks to Julian and Mary's inspiration, passion and determination that Shakespeare in Italy was established firstly in Italy with Theatre Manager Sandro Pascucci, and later in the UK.
Julian worked tirelessly with Mary running the company's brilliant annual summer school, giving recitals and workshops, then working with members to establish Shakespeare in Italy as a UK-based charity with a board of Trustees.
Julian's love of both Shakespeare and Italy go back many years. He made his professional debut walking on in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of 'Romeo and Juliet' in 1961 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.
He went onto play a wide variety of roles in both classical and modern works, for the RSC, the National Theatre and in London’s West End.
His numerous Shakespeare roles included Angelo, Horatio, Macbeth, Polixenes, Lear’s Fool, Antonio in 'The Merchant of Venice', Oberon, York in 'Richard II', Malvolio, Cymbeline, Pandulph and Leontes.
Following the success of his book 'Shakespeare on Stage', a collection of interviews with leading actors focussing on the Bard’s key roles, he wrote a second volume. Both volumes were shortlisted for the annual Theatre Book of the Year award.
On television Julian is best known to audiences as Claude Erskine-Brown in 'Rumpole of the Bailey'. His one-man entertainment 'Hic! or the Entire History of Wine abridged' was premiered on Cape Cod in May 2000 prior to being performed more than 150 times from Hong Kong to London and San Francisco.
In 2018 he played the Judge in 'Witness for the Prosecution' in London’s County Hall, directed by Shakespeare in Italy Associate Artist Lucy Bailey.
Julian spent the first 18 years of his life at Dartington where his father was appointed headmaster in 1930. He read English and Modern Languages at Cambridge where he acted in the Marlowe Society with fellow students including Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Corin Redgrave, Trevor Nunn, Clive Swift, Margaret Drabble and Anthony Arlidge.
Ceramics was a passion of his, so much so that he nearly became a potter. Julian and Mary bought a wreck of a house in Central Italy in 2004, re-built it and lived there from 2007 to 2016. Those lucky to experience their hospitality and warmth under the roof of their home in this idyllic spot will remember always Julian singing accompanied by Mary on the piano.
We will remember Julian forever for his charisma, intelligence, wit, determination, bravery and talent.