Chrys Salt shares her memories of Nina
I was terribly sad to learn of Nina Finburgh’s death on Tuesday 22nd March, although I understand she died peacefully in place where she was well cared for. I’m glad about that.
I first met Nina in the early 80s (before many Actors Centre Members were born) when I attended her now legendary sight reading classes. My children were old enough for me to pick up the threads of what had been a fairly successful career. She must have seen something in me and recommended I ran some classes at the Centre. We were in Goodge Street then – above The Reject Shop which struck me as rather ironic – the rest is history. I like to think her judgement was sound and I have also helped a few along the way.
It’s not for nothing I dedicated a couple of my Methuen Audition Books to Nina with love and thanks. She was one of life’s great enablers. Although a talented performer and director herself – quite a song writer too – she chose to dedicate her life to the support and empowerment of others. Not just in England, but abroad as well. So many of us have reason to be grateful for that. Me, among them.
Nina was one of life’s inspirational teachers. No mean accolade. She had an encyclopaedic knowledge of plays past and present, was a frequent visitor to the theatre – both National and fringe, especially if one of students was performing. She was a proud and active supporter of our Union, and had the capacity to spot the failings in any performance at 50 paces. Although she could be a fierce critic, she was also a generous, kind and wise one – facilitating, never undermining and was much loved by actors on every rung of the professional ladder.
Rest in Peace Nina. I will never forget the powerful influence you had on my life. I won’t be alone in that. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to tell you. You will be missed by everyone who had the privilege to know you.
Chrys Salt, MBE