Last week we sent off our dear friend Rob Lyon, a friend and collaborator with many in these pages. Rob was a graduate of the VCA and was lucky to be involved in Australian theatre at that time when we were graced with so many permanent ensembles. Being both a brilliant actor and collaborator Rob naturally became a loved member of Salamanca, Barnstorm, Arena and worked independently for MTC, Anthill and on stages across Australia. For the past ten years Rob battled Parkinson’s disease. He never lost his wicked sense of humour, his trademark laugh or the sensitivity that made him such a wonderful artist. For Rob the show went on, and he remained a devoted friend to so many of us. He and his wife Victoria and his two boys Joe-Henry and Gabriel continued to embrace life and adventure despite his increasing disability. Sometimes words feel so inadequate when describing such a spirit. The hall in Yarraville was packed for Rob’s “bump-out” and despite being a sad occasion on so many levels, it was also a genuine celebration of a life that never looked like ending. Rob always reminded us what an actor really is – a member of the tribe who tells the stories, who shows us who we are, what we might be and how we might become. He was also one of the funniest men I’ve known! It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never attended a funeral with so many laughs. And perhaps that’s the ultimate tribute to the man. He was always just a little above the drama, but playing along. A man who loved family, friends, audiences, nature – he was in fact that rare thing….. a happy man. We all miss you Rob, and on behalf of the rest of the cast – see you in the green room after. Love and respect.
Written by Peter Haughton