MTC bids a fond and poignant farewell to Simon Phillips this evening at the the dear old Forum Theatre. Amidst the theatricality of this charming historic venue (previously known as the State Theatre – we’ve come full circle?) under its azure blue star studded sky ceiling, a clan of theatrefolk gather to share memories, bubblies and a horde of seemingly unending canapes. Some of Simon’s close and venerable friends took to the stage to do what they do best in a bid to farewell him. The whole affair was done very tastefully and respectfully (most of the time,) with tributes from the likes of Joanna Murray Smith, who spoke humorously of her secret fantasy with Simon, queen of impressions Bernadette Robinson, who did a carefully reworded Abba Medley, thoughtful words from Peter Evans and the more eloquent Julian Meyrick, a heartrending number by Bob Hornery, Geoffrey Rush, of course, et al.
The dress code for the evening was ‘A Splash of Red.’ Not many guests took to the theme with gusto. I think that when you’ve made it there, the dress up themes become more boring. Black-on-Black-Devoid-of-Red seems popular as a non conformist statement (also worn by Simon Phillips, though he his shirt was sparkly.) Maybe he didn’t get the memo? I know some people who genuinely didn’t. And some who tried to pass brown for red. But there was a melange of red shoes, red dresses, red lips, nails, hair, red pocket square, red socks… A good way to prescribe a uniform and observe the good students vs. the rebels.