David DeVan

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David DeVan

Post  bennyboy on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:07 pm

I was reading through the "First Year backstage" book by Marcus Tylor and I came acroos a picture of David DeVan in his understudy costume for Monsieur Andre. As a side note it says that he died not long after the picture was taken. I was wondering if anyone knew exactly what happened as he seems quite young in the photos.

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Re: David DeVan

Post  stevedevan on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:08 am

Hi Bennyboy,

I'm David's nephew (although only 2 years younger) and practically grew up with him in for several years until I was about 12. I often bring him up in conversation (or "name drop") when Phantom is spoken about. Such an occasion happened just now at work and I did a quick internet search on his name, out of interest. It is quite a coincidence that you posted just last week.

But anyway, unfortunately David died of Aids related diseases, I think in 1990. He had quite a lot of involvement with Ian McKellen and the London Lighthouse charity in the late 80's before, he himself, contracted the disease.

Not much info for you there, but hope it helps

Steve

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Re: David DeVan

Post  Scorp on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:15 am

That's really sad. Sad How old was he when he passed away? Thanks for the info, Steve, and thanks for popping by!

Didn't David take over from John Savident as Firmin pretty early on? As in, before Michael Crawford left? At least that's what I am thinking off the top of my head...someone did, and I think it was David. Can't remember.

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Re: David DeVan

Post  bennyboy on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:19 am

That is really sad. Thanks for replying Steve. I've been wondering about what happened to David since reading Marcus Tylor's book. I found it strange that at the 25th anniversary show when all the original cast came out on stage Lloyd Webber paid tribute to the prinicipals who are sadly no longer with us (John Aron, Steve Barton and Mary Millar). He failed to mention David's name along with Mostyn Evans and David Jackson who were in the ensemble and playing smaller roles. I just thought they all deserved a mention due to the fact they were the originals and such a wonderful cast.

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Re: David DeVan

Post  stevedevan on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Hi

I think David was 36 when he died. He did indeed play a bigger role but it was Monsieur Andre. I saw David on his first night in that role and was in his dressing room after the show when everybody, inc John Savident, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman (and strangely, Anneka Rice), came by to offer their congratulations on his performance. John Savident was particularly wholesome in his praise and stayed for some time. I believe David played the role for almost a year, before falling ill. His partner was a Production Manager elsewhere in the West End and sadly died within a few weeks of losing David.

I too was a little disappointed that David didn't get a mention by ALW (at the 25th) as he had appeared in several of his shows over the years and knew him quite well. But then he's probably known and forgotten 000's of performers over his long career.

I'm going to print this thread off for David's mum, who is in her late 90's and still going strong, I think she'll be thrilled that there is still some interest in her youngest!

Thanks very much for your interest and comments. They are very much appreciated.

Steve

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Re: David DeVan

Post  operafantomet on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:32 pm

I didn't know David de Van took over the role of André, that's cool. The pictures Marcus Tylor took of him on the HMT rooftop is eerie, I love them. That's how I first learned about him. Interesting to learn more, as Tylor's info is scarce. Thank you so much for stopping by, Steve.

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Re: David DeVan

Post  stevedevan on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:55 pm

David definitely played Andre for a while, but maybe I am mistaken as to the length of time. It is a long time ago.

If anyone has a link to photo's of David in the show, I'd appreciated it.

Steve

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Re: David DeVan

Post  operafantomet on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:30 pm

Here's one of the photos by Marcus Tylor:


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Re: David DeVan

Post  bennyboy on Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:44 am

Glad that you're going to pass this on to David's Mum. Hope she's pleased. I think in the early days, from what I understand, Steve Barton covered Phantom for one performance and badly damaged his ankle in a fall. Subsequently, Steve Barton was out of action for about 6 weeks and his Understudy in the part of Raoul was David Firth (who played Andre at the time). They would have then called on David DeVan to play Andre and this is when he would have had a decent run in the part I believe.

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Re: David DeVan

Post  bennyboy on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:39 am

Just for info. I've recently bought the Private edition of Marcus Tylor's First Year Backstage book. There are a lot of pictures of David in there in an array of different costumes and quite a few in colour. He seems to have played the Hairdresser in Il Muto and he features a few times in this costume. It's quite outlandish and looks great. I can't post any pictures due to copyright etc but if you can get hold of a copy it's very good.

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