2019

Paul Woddis (1941-2019)

(this obit was written for Paul’s school and college newsletters)Brasenose

PAUL WODDIS who has died at the age of 78, attended Uppingham from 1955-58 and was a member of The Hall where he made friends easily including one who was to prove his staunchest life-long friend, Robin Grove-White.

Following Uppingham and after a short sabbatical in Brussels, he gained an Exhibition to Oxford (Brasenose, 1959-63) where he read Modern Languages and gained a 2nd class degree (although he always felt he would have gained a First had his viva been on his beloved Proust rather than Balzac of whom he was less enamoured!).

It was at Oxford where he met his beautiful wife, Helena Wills. They married in May 1963 and later that year, Paul joined one of Britain’s leading multi-nationals in household products, Reckitt & Colman, as a graduate trainee in the Marketing department.

Wedding day, Paul and Helena, Oxford, May 2nd, 1963.

Wedding day, Paul and Helena, Oxford, May 2nd, 1963.

He spent 18 years with the company, often overseas and first as Marketing Director in Venezuela (Valencia and Caracas), then Argentina (Buenos Aires) during the period of unrest under the Military Junta.

In December 1976, he returned to Europe as CEO in France.

Eventually leaving Reckitt & Colman in 1981, he joined Cussons UK as Managing Director in their Cheshire offices. Later he performed the same duties for Sanofi Winthrop and retired as the outgoing Chairman when they became Elf Sanofi.

Paul and Helena settled in Weybridge, Surrey before finally moving to Suffolk in 2011 where he died in February this year at The Orwell Care Home, surrounded by his family.

Paul was born in Nottingham, the eldest child of psychiatrist Keith (Gideon Mordecai) Woddis and Dorice, nee Burgess. Justin, their eldest son was born at the end of 1963, Hugo in 1965 and Katharine, their daughter in 1972.

To anyone who knew Paul during the early years, he cut an extraordinarily handsome and charismatic figure. A passionate and life long enthusiast of classical music, his knowledge was deep and as detailed as was his love of languages, especially French and Spanish. He also spoke Italian and German.Paul, Iguazu Falls, Arg

Always an internationalist, he read widely with poetry becoming a major love, Philip Larkin and Cavafy being two of his favourites.

Working abroad offered rich experiences. He was especially devoted to France and in Argentina became an enthusiastic tango dancer!

Rugby and horse racing were also abiding interests, the latter since schooldays when he began to study stock and breeding in which he became an expert.

He was also a great connoisseur of all things gastronomic, including French food markets as well as its fine wines and liqueurs. His own culinary specialities included a mean mayonnaise and superb soufflés.

Most of all, he will be missed by his many friends who knew and loved him for his largesse, his energy, wit, international and intellectual breadth and his instinctive generosity of spirit.

He is survived by his wife, Helena, his children Justin, Hugo and Katharine; his grand-children, Rollo and Tabitha Woddis, Swan and Willow Schofield, Charlotte Woddis and by his sister, Carole.

PAUL WODDIS, born Nov 28, 1941, died Feb 15, 2019.

Inside Bitch

Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, London ***
Runs: 1hr 05 mins without interval 
Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen Mar 5, 2019:

© Ali Wright, Lucy Edkins, TerriAnn Oudjar, Jennifer Joseph, Jade Small

© Ali Wright, Lucy Edkins, TerriAnn Oudjar, Jennifer Joseph, Jade Small

Clean Break, the company that transforms the lives of ex prisoners through theatre are in celebratory mood. This is their 40th anniversary year and what an amazing and bravely innovating idea it was when two former inmates got together to start the company and bring new hope and life for women prisoners emerging from the criminal justice system.

Continue reading

The Cherry Orchard

Barbican Theatre, London ****
Runs: 2hr 50mins incl 20 min interval

Review by Carole Woddis of performance seen Feb 5, 2019:

© Alex Yocu, Alexander Petrov (Lopakhin), Natalia Reva-Ryadinskaya (Varya) and the company...

© Alex Yocu, Alexander Petrov (Lopakhin), Natalia Reva-Ryadinskaya (Varya), Victoria Isakova (Ranevskaya) and the company…

Visits by Russian companies are always welcome. Generally, they bring such flair and excitement to texts no matter how well over-worked they are in our own repertoire. Continue reading

Witness for the Prosecution

London County Hall, London. ****
Review of perf seen Jan 30, 2019:

© Ellie Kurtz, trial by jury, headed by Christopher Ravenscroft as Judge Mr Justice Wainright presiding...

© Ellie Kurtz, trial by jury, headed by Christopher Ravenscroft as Judge Mr Justice Wainright presiding…

Box Office: 0844 815 7141
Online: www.witnesscountyhall.com
Tues to Sat 7.30pm, mats Thurs and Sat 2.30pm; Sun 3pm
Runs: 1hr 55 mins plus 20 min interval

It was a stroke of marketing genius on the part of director Lucy Bailey and her producers to decide to stage one of Agatha Christie’s best loved court room dramas in something approaching a court room!  Continue reading

The War of the Worlds

New Diorama Theatre London *****

© The Other Richard, Julian Spooner and cast simulating being CBS actors beginning the infamous Orson Welles' broadcast of The War of the Worlds in 1938...

© The Other Richard, Julian Spooner and cast simulating being CBS actors beginning the infamous Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds in 1938…

Runs: 80 mins no interval.
TICKETS : 0207 383 9034
On-line: www.newdiorama.com

Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen Jan 11, 2019:

There is something about artists who train at Ecole Jacques Lecoq. They seem to reach places other actors can’t or haven’t even thought about reaching.  Continue reading