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Elaine McDonald, OBE

Elaine and PeterWe were very saddened to hear that Elaine died on 9th December. Alan Crumlish wrote a beautiful tribute which he has allowed us to use here.

Elaine McDonald was magnificent – simply wondrous. The power she held and could wield – literally through her finger tips was bedazzling. A feisty, deeply caring spirited individual who fought hard to learn her art of interpreting theatrical reality through movement and intense passion.

Her relationship with Peter Darrell was much more than that is so often referred to as a director and his muse. It was symbiotic – joined at the hip and in a shared and mindful intuitive understanding. Peter once said if ever he had married, (heaven forbid) that it could only have been Elaine. Perhaps not exactly what might be imagined or described as a marriage made in heaven, but undoubtedly an absolute acknowledgement of the mutual commitment which was shared - “ I give her the idea … and she takes it away like a puppy and worries it all night and then comes back in the morning having made it her own."

Elaine in Venice

Elaine and Peter challenged each other unrelentingly. She was perhaps his moral conscience, Taking everything that he would throw at her – accepting every challenge, sometimes albeit reluctantly, only to offer back something greater than the original conception. - Immaculate.

Such is the wonder on which things can be made, and I am personally privileged and humbled to have witnessed the glorious spectrum of creativity which flowed so generously.


Photograph credit: Alan Crumlish
Photograph 1: Peter Darrell and Elaine
Photograph 2: Elaine McDonald in Venice.

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