05 Aug 2019
Creative New Zealand is saddened by the news of the passing of Raymond Boyce, one of New Zealand’s most significant designers for theatre and performing arts, as well as a puppeteer and puppet designer.
Kua hinga te totara i te wao-nui-ā-Tāne. Te tangi o te ngākau, te hotuhotu o te manawa mō te ngarotanga nei. E noho mokemoke tātou te hunga mātauranga i raro i te kapua pouri.
Raymond trained in London and immigrated to New Zealand in 1953 to work for theatrical company The New Zealand Players. He began working with the New Zealand Opera Company in the late 1950s, and created set designs for many of their productions.
He later went on to design sets for the Australian Opera Company and Wellington City Opera. In 1966 he began long career of designing for Downstage Theatre, joining the Downstage Committee and acting as design consultant to architects of Hannah Playhouse.
He was Executive Designer of the New Zealand Pavilion in Expo 70 in Japan and in the early 1990s he was Executive Designer for the New Zealand-made tapestry curtains presented to The Globe Theatre, London.
In 1977 Boyce was awarded MBE and in 1990 was awarded honorary Doctorate in Literature from Victoria University. In 2007 he received an Arts Foundation Icon Award. His memoir SERENDIPITY, in design: Memoirs of a theatre designer was published in 2018.