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One of the North Shore’s best-known theatrical identities has died. John Antony, 73, of Milford was a North Shore resident for 45 years. The retired Musical Theatre New Zealand President actively supported community theatre around NZ for over five decades, in management and leadership roles, as well as involvement in performance, backstage, set design – and as a Director, including Les Miserables at the Bruce Mason Centre. Particularly supportive of educational arts development, he encouraged and mentored diverse young talent to aspire to high levels of achievement. In 2012 John co-founded Tadpole Productions, staging plays at Takapuna’s PumpHouse Theatre.
Over the past few years through Channel Magazine I had come to admire John for his warm manner, love of the community and his devotion to the theatre – a passion of five decades – with Tadpole Productions being his most recent project.
A marketing and merchandising consultant, John retired in 2014. He received a North Shore City Council Civic Award for Voluntary Services to the Community; was awarded Life Membership of North Shore Music Theatre following twenty five years as a committee member and three terms as President; had a New Zealand Music Theatre Federation Merit Award for Services to Music Theatre; and Life Membership of Musical Theatre New Zealand. In the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, John was awarded a QSM for Services to Musical Theatre.
Shortly before his death his musical theatre colleagues staged a superb surprise tribute concert at a packed PumpHouse Theatre, to honour and celebrate John’s contributions to theatre. Former cast members from shows he had directed over the years, many now working internationally as well as around New Zealand, performed excerpts from his favourite shows for John’s family, friends and representatives from musical theatre organisations around the country.
John is survived by his wife Angela and children Rachel and Robert (Auckland), and Todd and Nicole and granddaughter Mia (London).
Channel Magazine: Issuu 53 April 2015