Audrey Laye – Tribute

In Memory of

Audrey Laye

27 . 03 . 1920 – 01 . 08 . 2012

The Newsletter of October 2012 carried the following

Ray Hoppers wrote:

“There was a good turnout of the Wick’s ‘Old Guard’ at Audrey’s funeral at St. Michael and All Angels Church in South Lancing, on 23rd August, where we were reminded of what a good Christian lady she was, with her faith informing her strong sense of rightness, duty and responsibility, without imposing her beliefs on others. Audrey had chosen the words and music for her husband George’s funeral, and she had insisted that the same should be used for hers.

Audrey was born near Blackburn in March 1920 and was initially a pharmacist from 1940 and throughout the war. She met her beloved George (see, tribute) in March 1945, got engaged in May and married in September. They moved to Henley, where her only son Michael was born in 1948, and in the same year she became one of the founder members of the Henley Players.

In 1954 Audrey started teaching at a local Prep school and continued in that profession at various places for a further 30 years. We heard that she could command silence in a classroom with a piercing glance and was loved, feared and respected by her pupils in equal measure. Those of us who had been directed by her knew how they felt! We also heard, and recognised, what a great encourager she was. Audrey always wanted you to be the best that you could be.

The family moved to Lancing in 1968, Audrey and George joining Wick in 1969. Audrey was immediately in action, appearing as a Pierrot in George Porter’s one-act adaptation of Oh! What a Lovely War for the1970 Southwick festival and directing Say Who You Are in June of that year, to excellent reviews. This was the start of Wick’s happy association with the Kenton Theatre, Henley, as the entire production, including the set, enjoyed being transported to Henley- the first of many such outings.

All told Audrey appeared in nine plays and directed nine others between 1970 and 1991.

Among her many successes were the three award-winning plays she directed; The Amorous Prawn, The Marquise, When We Are Married, which were entered in the Brighton Three-Act Play festival.

Audrey retired from acting and directing in her 70s.

George’s death in 2002 was a great blow to her, and then sadly she lost her sight through Macular Degeneration in 2008. However, she loved receiving visitors and Sally Bacon and Joy Talmage in particular were frequent exchangers of gossip and news, remembering that visits were a pleasure.

Audrey played a significant part in Wick’s life and will be sadly missed”