Frank Vickery - The People's Playwright

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20180824

Sian Harries celebrates the life of playwright Frank Vickery who died this summer.

Sian Harries celebrates the true voice of the Valleys, comedy and drama writer Frank Vickery, who died this summer.

One of Wales’ most popular and prolific playwrights, Frank Vickery wrote more than 30 stage plays and radio dramas. He always wrote for the people, crafting plays and comedies which reflected his Rhondda background and the unique language and humour of the South Wales Valleys. His work is a treasure chest of great characters and comic writing that is singularly Welsh in its voice and tone.

Frank wrote his first play whilst still at school but had to leaving education prematurely to work in a factory and then take work as a bus conductor to make ends meet. At 21 he wrote his first hit “After I’m Gone”, a play that was awarded the title of ‘est One Act Play in Great Britain and from there Frank went on to carve a career as one of Wales’ best-loved playwrights. His distinctive Welsh tone and mercurial sense of humour gave voice to Valleys communities, which marked Frank out as an important and highly respected figure in Welsh theatre. In a career that spanned four decades he was famous for his association with the Treorchy Parc and Dare Theatre company and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.

Frank also had a reputation as a talented actor. He enjoyed success as Sir Andrew in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and Philario in ‘Cymbeline’, both directed by Michael Bogdanov. He balanced his Shakespeare with scene stealing drag as he honed his pantomime dame, delighting families for years as a stalwart pantomime legend.

We hear from celebrities who knew Frank, and from those who worked alongside him and were inspired by him. They recall a comedy genius and a funny, kind, and talented man.

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Sian Harries celebrates the true voice of the Valleys, comedy and drama writer Frank Vickery, who died this summer.

One of Wales’ most popular and prolific playwrights, Frank Vickery wrote more than 30 stage plays and radio dramas. He always wrote for the people, crafting plays and comedies which reflected his Rhondda background and the unique language and humour of the South Wales Valleys. His work is a treasure chest of great characters and comic writing that is singularly Welsh in its voice and tone.

Frank wrote his first play whilst still at school but had to leaving education prematurely to work in a factory and then take work as a bus conductor to make ends meet. At 21 he wrote his first hit “After I’m Gone”, a play that was awarded the title of ‘est One Act Play in Great Britain and from there Frank went on to carve a career as one of Wales’ best-loved playwrights. His distinctive Welsh tone and mercurial sense of humour gave voice to Valleys communities, which marked Frank out as an important and highly respected figure in Welsh theatre. In a career that spanned four decades he was famous for his association with the Treorchy Parc and Dare Theatre company and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.

Frank also had a reputation as a talented actor. He enjoyed success as Sir Andrew in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and Philario in ‘Cymbeline’, both directed by Michael Bogdanov. He balanced his Shakespeare with scene stealing drag as he honed his pantomime dame, delighting families for years as a stalwart pantomime legend.

We hear from celebrities who knew Frank, and from those who worked alongside him and were inspired by him. They recall a comedy genius and a funny, kind, and talented man.