[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/67842?ns=guardian&pageName=Letter%3A+Clare+McIntyre+obituary%3AArticle%3A1315245&ch=Stage&c3=Guardian&c4=Theatre&c6=&c7=09-Dec-06&c8=1315245&c9=Article&c10=Obituary%2CLetter&c11=Stage&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FStage%2FTheatre[/img]Timberlake Wertenbaker writes: I first saw Clare McIntyre (obituary, 3 December) as a cat with a saxophone, performing Stevie Smith's The Galloping Cat in a Women's Theatre Group compilation. I was thrilled to meet her some months later when the WTG commissioned a play of mine. I shudder to remember this dramatic representation of nuclear power, with singing and dancing atoms, but Clare made a wonderful kind of English blonde-bombshell atom, full of fun and verve.
At the time, she lived with her photographer sister Lel in a lovely house with some cats, but she decided she needed her own place and we agreed to look for flats in the same building.
In a year of searching, I got to know her well. I relished her sense of humour, her wry observation, and also her anger at the state of the world. Clare was great company. Her intelligence zoomed in on any subject, her imagination enriched it and then her zany wit made you laugh.
When she showed me an early draft of Low Level Panic, I remember thinking – not without a pang of envy - that she had become a fully fledged writer overnight. No early-draft fumbling: the play was fully formed, funny, with marvellous parts for women. Perhaps her acting experience had helped her create these quirky, touching characters, which feel completely true, bursting, alive, from the page.
My favourite play of Clare's was The Thickness of Skin. I remember the producer Frith Banbury saying it was the kind of work that years earlier would have easily slid into the West End. It ruthlessly captured the naivety of the liberal conscience and followed the consequences with an unsparing eye.
Before her illness had completely incapacitated her, we went to the Royal Academy together. Clare had a wonderful eye for painting. She looked beautiful, translucent. She knew she was facing a bleak future and, as we wandered around the galleries, she described the quack remedies ("pineapples!") she was being offered, with her usual hilarious sense of the absurd.
Her adaptation of Stefan Zweig's towering novel, Beware of Pity, had a reading at Rada some years ago. We were all riveted by her powerful version: this rich and heartbreaking play should be staged.
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Guardian: Letter: Clare McIntyre obituary
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