Colin Carnegie pays tribute to his 'extraordinary' wife Roma Tomelty
Actor and theatre director Colin Carnegie has spoken publicly for the first time about his wife Roma Tomelty since her death 10 months ago, calling her an extraordinary woman who was an extraordinary part of my life’ for nearly 50 years.
Roma (75) was a member of one of Northern Ireland’s most famous acting dynasties headed by her playwright and film star father Joe Tomelty and which included her actress sister Frances, who was once married to rock star Sting.
Colin, who is preparing to appear in an online revival of three episodes of the popular 40s and 50s BBC radio show the McCooeys which was written by Roma’s father, said: “There are hard days of course but I know Roma would want me to go on and I’ve been trying to find my way through with the help of great friends and relations.”
Former English public schoolboy Colin met his future wife while acting in the same Shakespeare play in Belfast. They were friends for a number of years before they became romantically involved and they were married for 45 years.
Colin and Roma ran the Centre Stage Theatre Company for more than 30 years not only producing major plays in Northern Ireland but also operating a summer school for aspiring actors and actresses, many of whom found work in the couple’s pantomimes.
Colin, who appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones as Stevron Frey, said it was important to keep the Centre Stage flame burning.
“We have always tried to project a theatre which would otherwise be slightly neglected. Our platform has always been to rediscover the work of the Northern Irish writers and others who thrived in the 40s, 50s and 60s.”
He said the McCooeys’ revival which was being planned by Roma before her death was a tribute to his wife but represented more just than a memorial to her.
Colin added: “She wouldn’t have wanted us to feel like we were stuck in the past. And we don’t think that would have been doing justice to Roma.”