Obituary – David Kincaid

David Eaglesham Kincaid, the son of Left wing poet John Kincaid, started his working life as a kitchen porter aboard a Clyde paddle steamer and later trained as a lens and prism maker. Fortunately, he abandoned this career in the early 1960s and, aged 21, gained a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After graduating, he joined the new ensemble at the Royal Shakespeare Company and then Laurence Olivier’s nascent National Theatre at The Old Vic.

David’s TV credits ranged from Dixon of Dock Green to the BBC Shakespeare Series when he played Grumio to John Cleese’s Petruccio. He may be best remembered as the prominent ‘baddie’ in ‘The Warrior’s Gate’ episodes of Doctor Who with Tom Baker as The Doctor and as the Scottish shopkeeper in the ‘Not for girls’ series of Yorkie Bar commercials. Although David’s film and TV credits are impressive, the theatre was his abiding passion and he played most of the theatres in the UK with spells at Chichester and Pitlochry, Theatre Clywd and the Northcott Theatre Exeter among many, many others.

Along with Michael Bottle and the late Peter Rocca, he founded the Brockley Jack Theatre in South East London. The theatre opened in 1994 with a Chekhov double-bill of ‘On The Harmfulness Of Tobacco’ and ‘Swan Song’ with Mike and David in the lead roles. The enterprise thrived due in great part to David’s stubbornness and dedication. It continues today and a recent production of ‘The Tempest’ was dedicated to him on the day of his death.

David was a big man with a big heart. He was a superb actor and well respected by all those who worked with him. An optimist, a clown, a fine bass voice, a dedicated tennis player, an avid crossword solver, a devoted Dad, Grandpa and a gentle man – he is missed by all those who loved him, which means everybody who knew him. David died aged 70 on May 12th and is survived by son Tom, daughter Emily and grandchildren Mathew, Becky and Leah.

Ben McRae and Mike Burnside