Summer Season MA shows, Machinal and Andorra are dedicated to the memory of Andrew Stainthorpe, who attended the ArtsEd MA Acting course in 2017. Andrew was loved by everyone, and sadly passed away last year.
All of Andrew’s friends and colleagues at ArtsEd were deeply saddened to lose such an extraordinary person, colleague and friend and wanted to share some of their special memories of him around how he impacted their lives.
“In September Andrew officiated at my Wedding. It was the loveliest ceremony, that he had written. It was sincere but not filled with sentimentality and so many people commented to me on how affected they had been by such a pure and light service filled with love. It is strangely cyclical that I find myself reading at his service now, and hope to do him justice by reading in the same vein.
Our year at Arts Ed were a tight knit group and so it's not fair for me to talk to you solely about my time with Andrew. He was close to very many of us and so I asked some of his closest friends to share any special memories they would like me to pass on. We spent a year in glorious isolation learning, growing and struggling together but I know that a great many of you here enabled Andrew to get to drama school by supporting him emotionally and financially. So, we would like to share with you some of our experiences with Andrew during that time.
Andrew, Kezi and I were in a secret gang that everybody knew about. We were called Janzi and we would meet at my house and moan about the course and our tutors while drinking red wine.
For Kezi, Andrew was the person who would have a serious debate whilst making phallic shapes out of her lunch. They’d always maintain that they were dead inside because they’d never show emotion but in reality Kezi found Andrew to be one of the most loving people: Always there to offer sound realistic optimist on anything from whether to have another slice of cake (always) to what one thing will you do to advance your career today. I know that Kezi is so proud to be able to say that Andrew was one of her closest friends and that for her he was the most interesting, unique and captivating person.
He once hugged Amber and said 'Is that a Tempest in your pants or are you just happy to see me?’ cleverly combining Shakespeare with sexual innuendo.
Emma insisted on buying him a Christmas present and after initially refusing he eventually conceded and said she could buy him the latest Tom Ford perfume. This perfume is EXTREMELY expensive.”
Many people, including Hannah and Kaigan talked about his warmth, positivity and drive.
“During a particular rehearsal with Skevy, Sophie and Freddie for Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Andrew was so hilarious as he gradually turned the name Miss Feletti into Miss Fa-fa-farfalle that the company were left in stitches.
During the same production he had a false hand and a false moustache that kept falling off. You can imagine how he milked that.
As a year group we performed a spoken word evening. In his piece Andrew posed the important questions ‘What is Kardash-i-an?’ and ‘What is Kan-ye?’
This next part comes from Andrew's old housemate and friend Annie. These are her words:
“I moved into a big house in West Acton with Andrew, Sophie and Mikey shortly after graduating. We were all feeling a bit down and depressed about acting and where to start and how difficult it was. Andrew however was planning his showreel, his voice reel and had his actual 5 and 10 year plans mapped out.
“One morning, a quote on a piece of paper was stuck on the fridge. It said, ‘The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.’ Andrew had put it there.
“Maybe to some it just seems like a cheesy quote. But we kept it there all year. I still think about it when I'm struggling. But more importantly I think it's an accurate representation of where Andrew was when we met him, and even after his diagnosis when he was still traveling to London to do voiceover classes and working with The Castle Players up here, I'm not sure if I know anyone as strong and determined as him.
The Andrew we all knew was brave and warm, he could be vain and had a justly deserved high self-worth. He set his aim high.”
The final comment came from Adil:
“He went through so much. But he lived. And he lived large. He was a two Belgian buns kinda guy.”
Further commemorative comments for Andrew include:
Rosie Hague – “Andrew was one of the most amazing people I had the honour of knowing. He was my fight partner and my screen partner, and we had the most wonderful time doing that and I will never forget it, but most importantly he was a wonderful and dear friend and someone who I admired and loved so much. I am just so grateful that he was brought into our lives and gave our year group, teachers and the entire school so much joy and laughter. We miss him every day.”
Annie Hammond – '”Andrew was a great friend to me. He was a very kind person, who had time for everyone. He treated everything with an incredible sense of humor. Even when faced with immense obstacles, he spent his time making those around him laugh. I am lucky to have got to know him, it was a privilege to be his friend. It's difficult to express his loss, I just know that we will all miss him greatly.'”
Emma – “Andrew talked about writing a letter to all of his friends for them to read after his final curtain call. In the end things moved faster than we had hoped they would and he never did get around to putting pen to paper. We will never know what he would have said but it is quite likely to have included anecdotes about life as an actor, a draft pre nup for The Future Mrs Stainthorpe (aka Taylor Swift), notes on how to make sure you get your own spotlight in every show you do and much more. One thing I do know is that Andrew did not want his friends to wallow for too long. I mean, he would have expected a few weeks of crying and outbursts (whilst playing Taylor Swift on full volume) and for every bloody theatre in the West End to stop everything and acknowledge him in a standing ovation….but then he would want everyone to remember the laughter, the joy and the sheer talent that he was able to share with us all. I guess this quote may be more in line with what Andrew would have shared with us if he had been given a little more time;
“When I have moved beyond you in the adventure of life,
Gather in some pleasant place and there remember me
With spoken words, old and new.
Let a tear if you will, but let a smile come quickly
For I have loved the laughter of life.”
Arnold Crompton – “RIP lovely”
Davinia Hamilton – “The world is a little less bright for having lost Andrew. He was immensely talented and wickedly funny. Just one quirk of his eyebrow could have me in fits of laughter. At drama school he was a dedicated student, and it was a real privilege to be able to train with him and witness his joy and hard work. When he informed us that he was ill, it was a real shock, but he embraced life so fully – even in his final months. Andrew was a real spark and I will miss him; I am so grateful to have known him, even if it was only for a short time.”
Sophie Milnes – “Andrew Stainthorpe, it was truly a pleasure. I will keep your inimitable razor sharp wit (after all ‘What is Kardashian?’), intelligence, sass and refined taste in my memories for life. Your glorious presence can never be replaced.”
Kieren Faulkner – “When you're training with people for such and intense amount of time day in day out its essential that the people you're with are great. Andrew was absolutely no exception. He was one of the absolute easiest people to get along with and to work with. He was kind, caring and immensely thoughtful. Seeing him bloom during our training was very special. His comic timing and wit were unparalleled and he was a joy to watch as well as work with. From faulty moustaches to Kanye West themed spoken word to his fantastic performance in Applause he never failed to have us all in fits of laughter. It's an absolute travesty that we'll never see him perform again. Another thing about being in someones company for an intense period of time is that you tend to take them for granted, you fool yourself into thinking the time you spend with them will never end or there always be a next time. Even when Andrew was diagnosed I was confident that he'd pull through. Reality is harsher though and I'd wish I'd spent more time with him after that. My last memory is of him giving a beautiful speech/having the best time at Jen's wedding. Even though his passing hit very hard I'll always remember Andrew for the happiest times I and we spent with him, which were all of them.”
Join us in celebrating Andrew's life and come along to dedicated performances of Machinal and Andorra over the next two weeks. Book your tickets here.