Tribute to Suffolk playwright who lost battle with cancer

A Suffolk playwright has died only eight days after his last drama had its premiere in front of capacity audiences.

Retired solicitor Jack Sadleir, who started writing plays while commuting by train to work in London, had been diagnosed earlier this year with a brain tumour and underwent an operation in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

He died at his home at Fressingfield, near Eye, on Monday night, aged 75, surrounded by his family.

His last play, comedy thriller Revenge en Suite, received its premiere earlier this month at St Edmunds Hall, Hoxne, a joint production by the Open Space and RoughCast theatre companies.

Mr Sadleir, married with three grown-up children, was ultimately too unwell to attend any of the three performances but a DVD was quickly produced and was played for him before his death. His wife, Julia, said: 'He was fully aware the play was being rehearsed and performed and very much enjoyed hearing about it all.'

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Cathy Gill, the production's director, said: 'The cast and I feel honoured that Jack felt he could trust us with his work and I sincerely hope we did it justice.'

Mr Sadleir had a huge passion for Shakespeare and was a keen allotment-holder. He was born and brought up in New Zealand and studied law before coming to England in 1963. He worked for a leading firm of London solicitors for many years before a spell with a local practice.

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More than �2,000 raised by the production of Revenge en Suite is – in line with the family's wishes – being donated to St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

Mr Sadleir's funeral will take place at Fressingfield Parish Church on Thursday, November 1, at 1pm.

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