We attended Patrick’s (his preferred name) funeral this morning.
While he is most often known as the brother of Spike of Goon Show fame, Patrick was himself an accomplished artist which included a 32-year stint with John Fairfax and Sons, which ended with Patrick working for the Sun newspaper as director of the art department.
He was keenly interested in all things creative, including the theatre. In fact Patrick accepted an invitation from Bob Allnutt of the ABC to help establish ‘an experimental drama theatre, which occupied premises leased for peppercorn rent from the Sydney County Council in Sussex Street, Sydney. He kept on with his theatre, known as PACT (Producers, Authors, Composers Talents Co-operative) but when it became a youth theatre he stepped aside, preferring it to have remained a professional theatre.’ (from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2010)
We were lucky enough to have met Patrick in June 2014, when he hosted a talk in the Blue Mountains recounting his Milligan family life, showing photos including some from Burma and India where he and his brother spent some of their boyhood. He attended a performance of The Goon Show LIVE! that evening; and again in March the following year when the show toured to Sydney for a dinner and show hosted by Rotary.
He was an energetic and talented man; he will be missed.
It’s always gratifying to have such warm responses from our The Goon Show LIVE! audiences; one gentleman after the show told us he was able to close his eyes and be transported in back in time to when we was listening to the Goons as a boy, instead of doing his homework.
What a naughty boy – althjough, we’d probably have done the same thing!
Tickets for our Yulefest Blue Mountains show are selling well, so grab your tickets while they’re hot… or steaming anyway.
The Goon Show LIVE!, it’s the Best of British Comedy.
It is a thrill to present, for one night only, Mr. Vent Thomas who toured with Spike Milligan as his Stage Director in 1984/5; one New Zealand and two Australian tours. They were Spike’s ‘Final Farewell Tour’ and ‘Second Final Farewell Tour’.
After the show, Vent will take the stage to remember some of his experiences of travelling and working with Spike. Vent says, “There are a ton of stories from those tours. Touring with Spike was of course the land of never a dull moment.”
Some of Vent’s stories include;
The time that Spike went walkabout before opening night in Canberra; a show that the Prime Minister was attending
Spike’s intolerance of journalists
The challenges of finding suitable accommodation for Spike
Why Spike had to be locked-up in the dressing rooms at the Theatre in Alice Springs
After a live interview, there will be a short Q&A.
To whet your appetite, here’s an ABC recording of Spike in his element when he played the Octagon Theatre at the University of WA in 1984. (Apologies for the quality, but well worth the time)