Claudia by Corinna MacNeice (c.1989) Acrylic on Canvas - painted at Les Marronniers

Claudia Boulton (1949 –2021)

October Gallery and all our friends have been shocked to hear of the sudden passing of our dear ‘Duchess’ Claudia Boulton. Late in October, Claudia suffered a heart attack and was hospitalised, under sedation, for observation. She died, peacefully, without ever coming round.
Claudia Boulton in Wilhelm Reich in Hell, 1997.
Photo: Marq Baily, 1997
Claudia Boulton (1949-2021)
Photo: Jonathan Greet 2012
Dona Juana, TAP adaptation of Molière, 1985.
Claudia Boulton (left) as Scaranelle and Chili Hawes as Dona Juana.

Claudia was a talented actress and an accomplished theatre director, but more than all that, she was a true friend known and loved by a wide variety of people from all walks of life. In the early ‘90s, while Chili spent time running the Quanbun Downs cattle station in Western Australia, Claudia managed Lundonia House (rentals, lodging, etc.) in her absence. She also produced and directed many memorable shows at the Gallery, some of which, like the riotous pantomime, CinderAlladin, she wrote herself. Over the last decade, she developed a series of ‘table-top tragedies’ – Greek drama, enacted by Claudia, using everyday objects found in any kitchen as puppets and props. No one who witnessed Claudia’s table-top Oresteia can ever again see a ‘double-wing corkscrew’ without contemplating Clytemnestra’s revenge.

Claudia attended most Gallery openings, a familiar and fun-loving figure who would happily engage with anyone about whatever they were most interested in. She wrote a brief synopsis of her long interaction with the Gallery for Dream No Small Dream, the publication celebrating 40 years of October Gallery. As a thoroughbred thespian, I know thatClaudia would always have wanted to be given the last word…