Sunday, 2 March 2014

Some more about Malcolm Tierney.

We said farewell to Malcolm at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden on Friday 28th February.

My heart has been heavy since.

There are many much better than me to write about him: those who knew him better, were closer to him, loved him more.

But write I shall.

For whenever I was heavy of heart, or downcast or disappointed, a chance meeting with Malcolm, normally over a glass or two in The French House pub in Soho, would lift my spirits up, recharge depleted batteries, and leave me feeling truly fine.......

How did he do this? Sage advice? The kindly and experienced hand upon the shoulder? The sagacious epigram?

In truth, all and none of these.

He did it mainly by being Malcolm.

For this was a man in whose presence one felt affirmed: one's life, whole life, affirmed.

And he would tell a tale and spin it until the very yarn itself ran out, then spin some more.

And you would laugh and laugh until you thought you could laugh no more, then laugh again.

And, later, smiling yet, finding that which had oppressed you shrunken down to manageable size and true perspective, you could see your way clear to tread that path anew with courage, gird up, and try again.

And feel affirmed.

Like any jewel, (or diamond...... a 'Diamond Geezer' indeed............), he was multi-faceted: a hugely talented actor and writer too: a brilliant artist who began his career in textile design before studying acting on a scholarship from The Rose Bruford Academy.

Malcolm was a life-long socialist and founding member of The Workers Revolutionary Party. But no spouting idealogue, he. Malcolm was a socialist because he loved people, and because he loathed injustice. He remained true to his ideals all his life.

As Vanessa Redgrave said of him in Malcom's obituary in The Guardian:

"He was one of our rare visitors from Seamus Heaney's Republic of Conscience."

I cannot better that.

The service at St Paul's, Covent Garden, (known as 'The Actors Church') was beautiful.

Words like 'lovely', 'beautiful', 'moving', and 'poignant' are cliches.

Such cannot do him justice.

The church was full of people and full of love.

It was full of memories paid in tribute and heartbreak in their telling.

I hope that the love that was there will help console his daughters Elsa and Anna, their mother Andrea, his sister Maureen and the rest of his family.

Malcolm Tierney: a courageous and life-affirming spirit now set free.

May you rest in peace, my wonderful, wonderful friend.