Darke, Nicholas 1948-2005
DARKE, Nicholas 1948-2005
(Nicholas Temperley Watson Darke, Nick Darke)
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 29, 1948, in St. Eval (one source says Wadebridge), Cornwall, England; died of cancer June 10, 2005, in Truro, England. Writer. Darke was a respected English playwright whose works often focused on the common working man's struggle against corruption and bureaucracy. The son of an ornithologist and farmer, he grew up with an appreciation of the English countryside and its people that later turned into a deep love of fishing and environmental activism. Early struggles with schooling that belied his later success climaxed with his expulsion from Truro Cathedral School, where he got into trouble for vandalizing a cricket field. Despite that setback, Darke went on to Rose Bruford College, where he studied acting. The first decade after he left school was spent acting for the Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent. Slowly, however, he discovered he had a gift for writing. Encouraged by friend and director Peter Cheeseman, his first play, Never Say Rabbit in a Boat, was produced by the Victoria Theatre in 1978. Darke later became a director himself, first at the Victoria Theatre and then moving on to the Kneehigh Company, which was originally founded in 1980 as a children's theater. Among Darke's many other plays are Summer Trade (1979), The Earth Turned Inside Out (1984), The King of Prussia (1996), and The Lobster (1998). Darke also wrote plays for radio and television, including the more recent BBC Radio 4 production Dumbstruck (2003), written after the author himself suffered a stroke in 2001 that hindered his speaking and writing ability. In 2004 his documentary film Aphasia, written with his wife, Jane, was also released to critical praise.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Daily Telegraph (London, England), June 14, 2005.
Times (London, England), June 25, 2005, p. 74.
Independent Online, http://news.independent.co.uk/ (June 14, 2005).