Tribute to an excellent gondolier – The Royal Gazette


Created: Sep 22, 2022 08:00

The Gondoliers, the Gilbert & Sullivan production the late Ian Suddards starred in in Bermuda

Dear Sir,

I often feel like when you’ve lived in Bermuda, you feel like you belong in some kind of club. I know that even though I now live far away, the place and others associated with Bermuda seem to be part of it.

Of course, it might have helped to have been young when we were there.

I was therefore saddened to learn of the death of my friend Ian Suddards this week in England after a long illness.

For those who may have been part of the circle of the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society in the early 1970s, Ian was a talented professionally trained and skilled actor who starred in local productions, as well as directing a fine Hamlet with the late Bermudian resident John Instone in the title role.

He worked as an actor for a time in the Melbourne Theater Company, notably in the original stage production of Breaker Morant [with Jason Donovan’s father, Terry, in the lead role. [This play was later filmed, directed by the Australian Bruce Beresford, in the 1980s.]

He also performed his own one-man Shakespeare show on old QE2 between Southampton and New York.

Ian was a good guitarist, later teaching the instrument part-time at Sherborne School in Dorset. He sang with an excellent baritone and I fondly remember his work in Gilbert and Sullivan’s, run by his mother, Marcia Suddards.

I think we were very colorful then in the theatrical world of Bermuda; but, of course, that was many years ago and Bermuda and the world have changed.

However, I am aware that there will still be those who will fondly remember Ian’s time in Bermuda. Not so long ago I stood backstage and watched the lovely singing of Ruth Thomas as Tessa in The Gondoliersin which Ian played a “gay gondolier” – as he and the tenor gondolier sing in the show.

Ian was one of many Bermuda residents who brought their gifts to enrich island life – he also worked for ZBM for a time.

I salute his passing and inform all who knew him.


Byron Bay, New South Wales



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