It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to inform you that Lynette Sullivan, a much-loved member of the CAODS family passed away on Friday 7 April.
Lynette has been a life-member and a member of caods for 50 years; performing on stage, on our Executive Committee and as our wardrobe mistress, her contributions cannot be overstated. We will all miss her dearly.
Our love and thoughts go to John, Guy, Karen and John.
“If all the world IS a stage then she more than played her part. Whilst we will all grieve, please also take the time over this Easter weekend to raise a glass and be thankful for the way she touched your life. Whether that was a great costume, sage legal advice or the wise counsel of a friend, we have all benefited from her presence in our lives, great or small.” John Sullivan speaking about his beloved wife Lynette.
Lynette Sullivan, 18 May 1952 to 7 April 2023
Calendar Girls was made all the more poignant for the caods family because one of our Life Members, Lynette Sullivan passed away during its production following a 14-month illness that culminated in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a form of blood cancer. It was very much her wish that her husband John, and Karen, her sister, audition back in February. Even when it became clear that she would not make it to show week she insisted that they should carry on in true theatrical tradition.
Lynette joined the Society in 1972 for a production of the Pirates of Penzance at (what was then) the Regent Theatre. She’d not long left Rainsford School and ‘Pirates’ had been a senior production in which she had played Frederic (it being an all-girls establishment at the time). As a result, Lynette knew all the music, including the men’s parts! From there she never looked back. In the very next show, Fiddler on the Roof, she played Tzeitel, the eldest of Tevye’s daughters. Over the next 50 years she would go on to play Tzeitel twice more (the last time rather pushing her luck, according to the director, at the grand old age of 39) and Golde, Tevye’s long-suffering wife, in the most recent version of that show which CAODS staged in the spring of 2010. As well as roles in ‘Fiddler’, Lynette played Clementina in Desert Song (1978), Mrs Malloy in Hello Dolly (1986), and Marian Thayer in Titanic (2012) as well as appearing in numerous shows as a dancer and ensemble member. John and Lynette met through CAODS (he proposed to her at the theatre during the break between matinee and evening performance of 1996’s Anything Goes) and Lynette’s last on-stage role was as Mrs Higgins, Professor Henry Higgins’ indomitable mother. As the nodal reviewer wrote, “Lynette Sullivan delivered her lines impeccably and was suitably elegant and stylish. I was totally convinced by her portrayal, and it must have been interesting for her to play the mother to her real-life husband!”
Lynette served for two periods on the Executive Committee. The first resulted in her being handed the somewhat ‘poisoned chalice’ of wardrobe mistress for the 1977 production of Camelot, a massive undertaking particularly for someone with no previous experience. It was very much in her character to step up to the plate; a successful production ensued although there are still members who remember the trauma of the mediaeval hat making sessions. She then looked after the wardrobe store, and acted as wardrobe mistress for many shows, until her illness made it too difficult. That being said she was still able to assist slightly for this January’s production of 9 to 5.
Lynette was twice a recipient of the Betty Worrall award (which was given to the member who had made the greatest contribution to the Society in a given year) and was made a Life Member in 2017 in recognition of her life-long service to CAODS. The Society has lost a faithful servant and, above all, a valued and much-loved friend. We hope that this production of Calendar Girls is a fitting tribute to her.