Medea O’Brennon, good-natured activist who spoke her mind
'She always said it was very important to not give up and to keep trying, even if you have to force yourself to keep going'
04 April, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
MEDEA O’Brennon, an actor known for fighting for political causes, has died aged 86.
Friends at the Theatro Technis in Camden Town, with which she had been involved since the 1960s, described her as “energetic and good-natured” as she stood up for what she believed. That energy meant that right up to the age of 84 she would enjoy swimming in the sea when she could.
She had a childhood in Cyprus and worked as a nurse in Limassol for the British Red Cross.
Later she moved to England and eventually found a home on the Maiden Lane Estate in 1982, close to her three sisters Niki, Evangelia and Loula.
She lived for some time in Norwich with her husband Andrew O’Brennon, an engineer who passed away from leukaemia after 20 years of marriage. “She was very intelligent,” said her friend Christine Ahern-McDiarmid. “She taught herself English just from reading.”
Ms Ahern-McDiarmid added: “She was a very positive person. She always said it was very important to not give up and to keep trying, even if you have to force yourself to keep going. ‘Essence is everything’ was something she often said. She would always have these jewels of wisdom.”
Theatro Technis was established in 1957 and set out to be rooted in a community. Medea sat on the board of directors and forged her own career in acting. She landed a role in EastEnders as a shop-keeper for a couple of weeks but turned down a permanent place in the cast because her heart lay back at the theatre in Crowndale Road.
George Eugeniou, the founder and artistic director of the theatre, said: “She and her sister Loula were involved as actors when the theatre first began and focused on Cypriot dialect and Cypriot writers.”
He added: “She was an activist. A woman who spoke her mind. She was energetic and good-natured.”
Medea had cooked Cypriot food for the elderly at the theatre for 40 years and helped out with coffee mornings to maintain its link with the community.
A keen dancer, she took up flamenco as a hobby. She died at University College Hospital in February, two days before her 87th birthday.