Montreal's close-knit theatre community is still reeling from the shock of losing Greg Kramer, the 51-year-old playwright, actor, director, songwriter and magician found dead in his apartment Monday — the very day rehearsals began at the Segal Centre for the last play he wrote.

Kramer performed on stages across Canada, the country he made home after leaving Britain in 1981 because of Margaret Thatcher's cuts to arts funding.

Kramer settled in Montreal in the late 1990s, where he also wrote and directed plays and songs and worked his magic — literally.

"He did everything, and he did everything better than anyone else as well," said Andrew Shaver, who is directing Kramer's last play, Sherlock Holmes, for the Segal Centre.

"He wrote this beautifully twisted, fun, irreverent adaptation," said Shaver.  "It's irreverent, because everything Greg did was irreverent."

"He was punk rock in all the best ways, and he was a Renaissance man. To have the opportunity to work with him was a blessing."

The Segal Centre is going ahead with Sherlock Holmes, starring Jay Baruchel.  It wil recast the role Kramer had planned to play.

Sherlock Holmes debuts in early May.

 

Greg Kramer talks to Ottawa's In Town and Out in October 2012 about his starring role in "The Player's Advice to Shakespeare."