The week we learnt Welsh – a tribute to Lon David

It is an awful shock when someone dies, especially if they are younger than you, and you have not seen them for many years. You mean to catch up, but life takes over. In my mind is the image of Lon when I first knew her. The memory of warm hugs and a wonderful companion. Today I learned that we have lost her, far too soon.

The two things that struck you about Lon was her beautiful voice, both singing and speaking, and her bright, clever way of saying the most ordinary things. She was a gifted writer. She stayed with me for a week in my chaotic home in South London. I was into Caribbean cooking, which I thought was to add bananas to everything; a sort of fruit risotto. Both Lon and my lodger, Bill, ate my concoctions for the whole week and never complained once. Every day we sat around my kitchen table petting the two cats and we talked and talked and talked. We reorganised the world in the order that suited us best. By the end of her visit, Bill and I had lilting Welsh accents. The cats snuggled up in her warm lap in preference to mine and purred along to the sounds of the hills and valleys.

I remember her crazy, wonderful * solo opera/musical about a woman having her breasts reduced in size. A serious and unlikely theme, but Lon was believable as the woman who wanted less, not more. The scenery was created from photocopies of her body. It was outrageous, with witty, clever lyrics and I think everyone who saw it was delighted and amused. It was a very brave piece of theatre.

My last evening spent with Lon was with a group of friends shortly before I left England. We had dinner somewhere in West London.  I remember curry.  There is a photograph of Lon in a red sweater laughing at me with her dark hair catching the light.  I only saw her once more after that, but I recall she hugged me goodbye that night. It is Lon in the red sweater that I will remember with warmth and affection.

 

  • The Difference by Z Theatre Company