A treasured member of Worthing Musical Comedy Society “will leave a gap that cannot and will never be filled.”
Andy Taylor, who lived in Worthing and was 67 years old, passed away “suddenly and very unexpectedly,” WMCS confirmed.
The company’s next show would have been his 100th show.
A company spokesman said: “Andrew Taylor had been a member of Worthing Musical Comedy Society for 50 years.
“He was well known for a variety of leading roles and fellow member Andy Roberts remembers when he first performed for the society in Oliver aged 7, Andrew Taylor was 17 and playing the part of Noah Claypole.
“He was possibly best remembered for his leading part in Pickwick and as Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast.
“Andrew had immense talent and energy not only as a performer but for his creativity in making costumes and sets for WMCS and local schools, as well as building and decorating a float for the Worthing Carnival for WMCS every year.
“Andrew, together with the late Roy Roberts, found builders’ premises which WMCS purchased and converted into rehearsal studios which they continue to use to this day.
“Andrew was due to play a number of cameo roles in the society’s production of Evita at the Connaught Theatre from October 22-26.
“This would have been Andrew’s 100th show and director Caroline Lowe is still dealing with the shock of Andrew’s passing, having known him as a friend and performer for a number of years.
“Despite their sadness at the loss of this valued member of their society WMCS are convinced that Andrew would have been the first to say ‘the show must go on’ and are determined that this will be the case.”
On Monday, September 23 Andy Roberts read a tribute to Andrew at a gathering attended by Andrew’s wife Christine and their two sons Oliver and Dominic together with dozens of members, past and present.
“He will leave a gap that cannot and will never be filled.
“He was an acting member and costume designer for the company and made the iconic Evita dress and also organised the eye-catching Evita float, and every previous WMCS float, for the Rotary carnival. He did this every year, frequently winning first place for his designs before he suddenly passed.”