Olwen Wymark


While bringing up four children on her own, Olwen Wymark wrote innumerable adaptations for the drama department of BBC Radio. Once the children were older, she branched out into writing plays of her own.

She was born in California, but her parents brought her to Britain when she was still a young woman. Here, she fell in love with and married Patrick Wymark, who became a highly respected Shakespearean actor and the star of two ITV series – The Plane Makers (1963-65) and its sequel, The Power Game (1965-69). Olwen’s life changed utterly when Patrick died suddenly in 1970 at the age of 44.

Her most successful play was Find Me (1980), the true story of a 22-year-old woman, who was detained in a maximum security hospital. It was staged at the Orange Tree theatre at Richmond in south-west London. In the same year, she wrote Please Shine Down on Me, which examined unconditional love. It was written for the fringe company Foco Novo, which presented it at the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs.

In 1981, Wymark adapted three one-handers by the Italian playwright Dario Fo and his wife Franca Rame. They were staged at London’s National Theatre by the south-African actress Yvonne Bryceland, under the title One Woman Plays.

Among Wymark’s other works was Strike Up the Banns (1988), a comedy produced at Theatr Clwyd in Mold.

Olwen Wymark, who was born Olwen Buck on February 14, 1932, died on June 14 at the age of 81.