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We’re truly heartbroken to learn of the passing of Dean Parker, an incredible writer and person.

It was only in February that we presented two of his latest works at Circa, the effortless and mesmerising ‘Wonderful’ and a playreading of ‘Shirley and Bill’, a fascinating look at the lives of Shirley Smith and Bill Sutch, based on Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos.

Fiercely political in all his work with a wicked sense of humour as well as huge depths of compassion and empathy in all his writing, Dean was the real deal. A writer of enormous range and Circa has proudly presented many of Dean’s works including ‘The Hollow Men’, ‘The Man that Lovelock Couldn’t Beat’, ‘The Tigers of Wrath’ and the aforementioned ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Shirley and Bill’.

Susan Wilson, who worked with Dean a number of times, had this to say:

“Sadly too soon we have lost a great NZ writer of stage screen and radio. One of our finest and certainly most prolific.”

“I’ve been privileged to work with Dean over many years, most recently on ‘Midnight in Moscow’ at Circa, in my opinion one of his finest stage plays, where he combined his love of all things Russian with an intriguing true story of New Zealanders caught up in espionage. Dean was unique in his broad range of theatrical themes and his clever and amusing approach to many challenging “true” New Zealand stories. His writing was always bold, clever, erudite and intriguing.”

“He will be sorely missed by all at Circa and throughout the writing, film, and theatrical community.”

RIP Comrade.