Lloyd Reckord’s thanksgiving service today

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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A thanksgiving service for the life of the late Lloyd Reckord -- actor, playwright and director of both stage and screen -- is set for today at Temple of Light in St Andrew starting at 4:00 pm.

Reckord, 86, died on July 8 following a brief illness.

He is remembered as a theatre practitioner of exacting standards.

For his nephew, local writer and theatre critic Michael Reckord, his uncle's passing has left both a personal and a professional void.

"He was the last surviving family member of that generation and, because of that, I grew much closer to him in recent years, so his loss is indeed very personal as he was a true repository of information. On a professional level, I am going to miss his productions, which were of a certain kind... I will dare to be politically incorrect and say it was quality theatre, which is fairly rare in Jamaica at this time, and with his passing this will be diminished," Reckord told Jamaica Observer.

It was the late Reckord's ability to extract the best from those he was directing that stands out for stage and screen actress Leonie Forbes.

"He gave so much to so many. I will miss him terribly. I started out being afraid of him, as he was not afraid to cut you down to size. But I later learned that his cutting down to size was in an effort to force you to wake up, to observe, and to listen. He gave me my first acting class in a garage in Cross Roads for 2/6. He also gave me my first professional job in England in 1962... a production called Double Entry, off the West End in London, and I got one of the best reviews. They called me 'bewitchingly enchanting', and I owe that to Lloyd. I had to deliver or drop dead, and I preferred to deliver," said Forbes.

Theatre producer Basil Dawkins also saw the teacher in Reckord.

"We worked on three productions: Champagne and Sky Juice; Same Song Different Tune; and Power Play. He was an extremely astute and non-compromising director. When we worked on Champagne and Sky Juice, I learned a lot, as he was directing Charles Hyatt and Leonie Forbes and all three had studied in England. His approach was something I had never seen before. I was able to learn how to get the best from actors with strong points of view. He would encourage discussion for them to see his point of view and would say: 'Don't argue, let's try, and if it doesn't work, we will fix itâ" Dawkins told the Observer.

-- Richard Johnson

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