FRIENDS OF THEATR COLWYN
TERRY JONES, PATRON OF THEATR COLWYN
Terry Jones was born on 1 February 1942 in Colwyn Bay and lived here until he was 5 years old. On his father’s return from serving with the RAF in World War 2 in India, the family moved to Claygate in Surrey. This was a move that Terry apparently resented – leaving behind the beaches, the cliffs and parks and he made a point of being as Welsh as possible for the next fifteen years!
Terry was a hardworking student and gained a place at Oxford University, studying English. It was from this time on that he met Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese and Michael Palin and the Monty Python phenomenon was born and lasted from 1969 to 1983. Terry’s major contributions were largely behind the scenes and he often deferred to the other members of the group as an actor. Recent Python literature has highlighted, however, his lead role in maintaining the group’s identity and creative independence.
Terry’s abilities as a director, writer and presenter meant that he went on, after Python, to be involved in many, many projects. A biographer has commented, “speak to him on subjects as diverse as fossil fuels, or Rupert Bear, or mercenaries in the Middle Ages or Modern China … in a moment you will find yourself hopelessly out of your depth, floored by his knowledge”. As well as appearing in history programmes, Terry has written a number of political articles for The Observer and The Guardian with such titles as “Why grammar is the first casualty of war” and “A resignation is worth a thousand smiles”.
And to finish notes on this worthy patron, there is apparently an asteroid, 9622 Terryjones, named in his honour. When asked during a webchat if this was the greatest honour he has received, Terry replied “I didn’t realise it was an honour to have a barren lump of rock named after one”. On his role as Theatr Colwyn patron, he said he was delighted to accept, that it was great to finally break into Colwyn Bay showbiz (!), and that he hoped Theatr Colwyn would continue to flourish and bring live theatre to North Wales for a long time.
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