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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Well-known as a dependable and cheerful stage manager and production manager, Peter Wright died unexpectedly last night after suffering a major heart attack.

He joined the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) as Ballet Stage Manager in 1975 and always said that this formed the happiest and most fulfilling part of his career.

He then moved to Durban and joined the Natal Performing Arts Council (NAPAC, now The Playhouse Company) as Musical Production Manager before being appointed as production manager at the ICC where he worked up until his retirement some years back.

Formerly married to dancer Ann Layfield, with whom he had a daughter, Natalie, he later married Retha Cilliers, director of the Field Band Foundation and former bassoonist in the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fellow former KZNPO bassoonist, Derek Vaughan-Heapy is very close to the family and godfather to Natalie, who now lives in Australia: “Peter was the best friend I ever had,” he says, sadly. “When I return from the UK, I will help Retha in whatever way I can with the forthcoming Field Band Foundation Championships.”