One thing is for sure when it comes to Nick Enright – the Australian theatre industry is a lot poorer for his passing.
His death in 2003 at the age of just 52 robbed us of one of the guiding lights of theatre, and someone who always seemed to have a smile on his face.
I never had any professional involvement with Nick Enright but I have always held him in high regard and his death brought home his importance to many people. To some, he was the writer of the smash hit musical The Boy From Oz, to others he was a pioneer of sorts with his original work. His film work was also impressive and those who were taught by him will never, ever forget him.
Eddie Perfect’s song ‘Someone Like That’, a tribute to Nick, summed up the man perfectly. The lyrics are as follows:
Someone like that lives forever/ is ever remembered/ affecting the lives of so many
And having been near just the heat of an ember, that fire is remembered/ remembered and never forgot
Someone like that has no finish and time can’t diminish the good works he made on this earth
Time will just burnish those memories that furnish our minds with a record of his endless worth
Of how life and art could be so intertwined
How we were graced with that gift of a mind
Should we despair losing one of a kind
Or give thanks, yes, give thanks that the world blessed us even one time
How many ideas were there left to ignite?
How many words making worlds left to write?
I could have sworn looking upwards tonight that the stars in the sky were left shining a little more bright
Someone like that holds a pen, or he enters a classroom, or theatre and nothing’s the same
Someone like that left this world, and for me, I’m just grateful, yes grateful he even remembered my name
Someone like that lives forever, and ever, and ever, and ever.
May Nick rest in peace