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Monday 24th December 2007
Obituary | KEVIN CHAPPLE KEN PARRY

Buy Theatre Tickets from Ticketmaster Written by Patrick Newley
Kevin Chapple | 28 May 1949 - 22 October 2007

Kevin Chapple was well known in London theatre circles for his work in West End box offices. He was a founder member of the Society of Box Office Managers, at one time being their treasurer and chairman. He was also an executive committee member of Box Office Management International. In 1985 he was a co-ordinator for the Theatregoers Club of Great Britain.

Born on 28 May, 1949, he joined the Mermaid Theatre as box office assistant in 1971 and later worked in various West End box offices including Sadler's Wells, Piccadilly, Greenwich and the Aldwych theatres. In 1987 he was appointed theatre manager for the Savoy Theatre and continued working there until 1999.

In 2000, he became house manager for Holland Park Opera during their summer seasons and house manager for the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, Surrey. Both of these posts he held until 2005 when he was appointed concert hall manager for the newly opened Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. Chapple left Cadogan Hall in November 2006. He was found dead at his home by police on 22 October 2007.

Ken Parry | 20 June 1930 - 12 December 2007

Versatile actor Ken Parry specialised in playing camp roles in a host of top TV dramas and comedies. He was also an accomplished Shakespearean actor both on stage and screen. Born on 20 June, 1930, in Lower Ince, Wigan, Lancashire, he worked as a lodge boy for Wigan Coal before deciding on a career in the theatre.

He became involved in local theatre groups and made his professional debut at the Wigan Hippodrome before moving to London where he broke into television in character roles.

He was in early episodes of No Hiding Place (1959) opposite Raymond Francis, and drama series such as Maigret, The Baron, Dixon of Dock Green, Z Cars and The Avengers. He was a stalwart of Armchair Theatre, Play of the Month and ITV Playhouse.

His long film career including leading and character roles in The Taming of the Shrew (1967) opposite Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Otley (1968), Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), Spring and Port Wine (1970), Ken Russell's Lisztomania (1975) in which he played Rossini, Joseph Andrews (1977), Hawk the Slayer (1980) and Lifeforce (1985).

Openly gay, Parry was a well known and revered figure in London theatre circles and he admitted that he had been "a mother figure" to such actors as Michael Cashman, Tom Courtney and John Thaw. He died on 12 December, 2007. He was 77.

Patrick Newley 2007

 
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