VOS THEATRE lost a friend last week. Terry Sutcliffe was an active member of the VOS for many years having directed Kiss Me Kate. He was our lighting and sound guy, our stage manager, our crew member and our family.
Terry made us laugh which made the work lighter. He was a consummate professional, particularly in his approach to stage management but there was always a smile or a joke to lighten things up. He simply had the best laugh.
“I remember when we were doing Kiss Me Kate and he sent me drawings to create a 4 foot x 4 foot x whatever size phone booth. I built it in my garage,” Alan Fletcher remembered. “I spoke to Terry and told him it looked pretty big to me but he was sure that was the size he wanted so I invited him out to have a look. After confirming over and over again that the size was correct he walked in and looked and said “Ohhhhhhh that’s big. That’s big isn’t it? and then he laughed and we cut it down in size. To this day we laugh and say “The director has ordered a Terry Sutcliffe sized set piece.” He was so good natured about it. It makes me smile to this day.
Liz Clark remembers Terry as a director in Kiss Me Kate.
“I was a new Mom. It was a big role but Terry was directing so I knew it would be a great process. There was vocal work at the end of Act 1 that really was beyond my capability. Ron Bermingham had done his best to whip me into shape but I was still struggling with the upper range. During one of the rehearsals Terry looked at me and smiled and gave me one of his winks that made his eyes krinkle. He looked at Ron and said “look at this – today she’s going to show herself she’s got the hard stuff down.” Seriously in that moment he really showed me that amidst the humour and casual nature of the rehearsal process he had my back. I left rehearsal knowing I had a friend. This was a gentleman who was funny and talented and open hearted too. It wasn’t about me making “his” show better. It was about me leaving feeling good about the work done. That’s my kind of human.”
Terry’s last appearance with VOS THEATRE was as the puppeteer and the Voice of God in Spamalot. To this day if we hear someone “doing God” in a film or on TV we think “na, Terry did God better”.
Terry’s timing was always impeccable and therefore, even though we wished he could stay with us longer, we trust that he knew it was his time to exit.
A celebration of Terry’s life will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with memories shared at 2 p.m. at MacCoubrey’s Funeral Home in Cobourg.
We send our love and support to his wife Gillian Snook.