MARY ANDERSON (d.1999)
THE LADY WITH THE PINK BAG
My dear friend Mary Anderson, who died at the end of May , was familiar to audience members as the lady with the pink bag, running the book stall in the foyer. What many of you may not have realised is that Mary was a very distinguished Questor who had served our theatre in many ways.
An art teacher, she joined The Questors in the mid 1950's soon becoming a set designer in the old Tin Hut. She met and worked with Bob Anderson, a BBC lighting engineer and they married in 1960. She was for a time Head of Design. Much of her work was outstanding. Many of us will remember her wonderful re-creation of a small country station waiting room for Mike Green’s 1975 production of The Ghost Train, enhanced by Bob’s lighting suggestive of gaslight, or her exuberant design for A Flea in Her Ear.
Many considered that some of her best art work was in her back-cloths. She performed sterling work in Wardrobe until her asthma prevented her working in the rather dusty atmosphere and then she joined the box-office team. She always sought to be useful in whatever way she could, including acting as host to members of visiting companies. Always modest, reserved and utterly reliable, the many Questors at her funeral attested to the high regard and affection in which she was held.
Mary loved the theatre and The Questors in particular. She would bemoan the fact that too many of us were insular and did not experience enough the wider world of theatre. She was a giver who gladly gave to The Questors in whatever way she could. I will miss her more than I can say - Questors will miss her more than perhaps they know. Our thoughts go to Bob and their daughters Kate and Janet.
[Questopics 446, September 199]