GCLT remembers some of our treasured past performers and members.
Michael Beard (1948-2020)
Michael Beard was born in Mount Isa on 28 December 1946. He was highly respected as a teacher and taught for many years at Aquinas College and at Guardian Angels Catholic School. He was considered exceptional by his students and many credited him with influencing them in their life choices.
At the age of thirty-three in 1979, Michael joined GCLT and began what was to become a very serious body of work as an actor for GCLT. Although he did work for other theatres his most significant performances were for GCLT. From 1979 to 2008 he performed in thirty-one productions. Michael, with his sharp wit, charm and high intellect, was able to traverse across several genres of theatre including comedy, drama, murder mysteries and musicals, although the only time he sang on stage was The Ryebuck Shearer in Reedy River. His productions were:
- 1979 – Conduct Unbecoming – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 1980 – The Odd Couple – Directed by Brian Wilson in which he played the hilarious ‘Oscar’
- 1980 – Night Watch – Directed by Molly Leggett
- 1980 – Rainmaker – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 1981 – Middle-Age Spread – Directed by Maurice Glasman
- 1981 – Cody v Cody – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 1982 – The Homecoming – Directed by Joyce Grant in which he played ‘Lennie’
- 1982 – The Removalists – Directed by Barry Gibson in which he played ‘Dan Simmonds’
- 1983 – The Crucible – Directed by Julanne Shearer in which he played ‘John Proctor’. This was the play which opened the new theatre on 9 July 1983.
- 1984 – Patrick Pearse Motel – Directed by Dorothy Henderson
- 1984 – Whose Life is it Anyway? – Directed by Julanne Shearer in which he played ‘Ken Harrison’ a quadriplegic unable to move any part of his body other than his head. This performance was played every night on stage for the whole play, not moving in a hospital bed.
- 1984 – Breaker Morant – Directed by Barry Gibson in which he played ‘The Breaker’
- 1986 – Dead Ringer – Directed by Dorothy Henderson
- 1987 – Gulls – Directed by Victor Newcombe and Joan Ross
- 1987 – No Names No Pack Drill – Directed by Barry Gibson in which he played one of his favourite roles ‘Tiger Kelly’
- 1988 – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Directed by Kay McInnes in which he played the pivotal role of ‘McMurphy’
- 1988 – Reedy River – Directed by Julanne Shearer. This was GCLT’s production for the Bi-Centenary
- 1989 – Death of a Salesman – Directed by James Wallace in which he played the insecure, self-deluded travelling salesman, ‘Willie Loman’
- 1990 – Salonika – Directed by Victor Newcombe
- 1991 – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Directed by Brian Wilson and Joan Ross
- 1991 – The Anniversary – Directed by Del Halpin and James Wallace
- 1992 – Romeo and Juliet – Directed by Julie Shearer in which he played the Friar
- 1992 – Seasons Greetings – Directed by Kay McInnes
- 1996 – Guys and Dolls – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 1999 – Camelot – Directed by Julanne Shearer in which he played Merlin
- 2000 – Barefoot in the Park – Directed by Deslye Kruck
- 2000 – GCLT’s 50th Golden Jubilee Celebrations – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 2001 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile – Directed by Julanne Shearer
- 2005 – Murder by Misadventure – Directed by Barry Gibson
- 2007 – Oh, What a Lovely War – Directed by Julanne Shearer in which, amazingly, he performed several pages of dialogue in French
- 2008 – The Club – Directed by Noela Johnson
As well as his considerable acting contribution to GCLT, Michael also served as Social Convenor, on the Production Committee and as President in 1994 and 1995. His famous quip was ‘a good meeting is a quick meeting’.
The love of his life was Del Halpin and he was married to her for ten years.
It is with gratitude and much sadness that we note his passing.