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Ken Colston-Lake, 1926-2014

I am sorry to report that Ken Colston-Lake, a pioneer of the Questors lighting department, passed away on 23rd November 2014 at the age of 88.

Ken joined the theatre in the old "tin hut" days and was one of the top lighting men of the period working under the head of department Gerry Isenthal. The home-made equipment of the day was primitive to say the least, including salt dimmers (open drainpipes filled with boiling salted water in which a high voltage metal plate was lowered up and down by means of a wire rope) – how the world of health and safety
has moved on!

When the new playhouse opened in the sixties, Ken was a regular lighting designer, working with the state of the art electronic lighting system now thankfully supplied by The Strand Electric & Engineering Co.! When I joined the theatre in 1967, it was Ken who took me under his wing and taught me the ropes, arranging for me to light Kit Emmet's production of "Salad Days" within a short period of joining, a daunting task indeed!

Ken & I became great friends and worked together on many shows during the sixties and seventies. We found that we shared a number of hobbies including philately and Indian food; many an evening after rehearsals would end up in the local curry house sampling ever more exotic dishes!

Ken was a great lover of classical music of which he had a huge record collection. He was also the lighting designer to HEOS at Greenford Hall where he lit numerous musicals, a role which I took over when he decided to retire from lighting.

Ken was a really kind and generous person with a great sense of humour and more than willing to share his extensive knowledge of technical theatre to anyone who needed it. He was a great influence on my early theatre life and will be greatly missed by all those who were privileged to know him.

Richard Broadhurst
(iQNews 1 March 2015)

Ken Colston-Lake at The Questors
1958 The Voice of Shem (Finnegan's Wake)
1961 The Courtyard
1961 A Quiet Clap of Thunder
1961 The South African
1963 Abelard and Heliose
1963 The Rough and Ready Lot
1964 Neighbours
1964 No Quarter

1964 Pop
1976 Love's Labours Lost
1977 Toad of Toad Hall
1978 Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
1979 Jumpers
1979 Light Shining in Buckinghamshire
1979 The Vampire
1980 The Constant Couple
1980 The Hostage
1980 Under Milk Wood