I met Ray Henwood only once. But it was huge for me. By then I’d grown up seeing him as part of the cast of Gliding On and he was there in several TV shows and movies. I’d seen him in several plays on the Circa Stage.
And at some point, I guess it was around 2007 or 2008, I sat in the foyer of Circa Theatre and spoke to him for two hours. It was an interview for a publication called The Wellington Guide. All that survives of it, as far as I know, is the cover image (below right). I wrote the piece up and was very proud of it – it was easy to be with such incredible source-material. Ray was absolutely a scholar and a gent.
We talked through his life in Wales before he moved to New Zealand. He was a science teacher. And a forensic toxicologist. He took some acting roles – it was a hobby. He didn’t look back. He was The Moro Man – a famous TV ad.
He was involved in local theatre and a foundation player of Circa Theatre.
And my conversation with him spread across several pages of this magazine – and it was, in some sense, the start of my podcasting style. I would have to wait a few years to get to the medium….and when I got there I always wished I revisited my conversation with Ray Henwood and captured his voice for the podcast. But that was not to be.
I have instead talked to many of the people connected with Circa Theatre over the last couple of years. And I will get to many more I hope.
But I’ll never forget that chance to meet Ray Henwood. I don’t have a copy of the magazine and my word-doc would have gone walkabouts as part of a home theft or the planned obsolescence built in to the ghosts of hard-drives past.
I have a memory not only of his kindness and generosity in that interview encounter. Several memories in fact. Watching him on stage and screen (dramatic, comedic) throughout my life.
He was one of our great talents. And a lovely man.
My thoughts today and in the days ahead to his family, friends and the close group of Circa stalwarts.
R.I.P. Ray Henwood
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