Apex Theatre, Birmingham

What a splendid document this is!  It seems to be a booklet-type programme – but I can’t see what the performance was, perhaps the title used to be written in by hand, or something?  If you know, please do tell me.

I can see that there is a list of titles written in pencil on the front.  The handwriting looks like that of Irene herself, and the list details SOME (not all) of the plays she put on at the Apex Theatre, which was part of the Birmingham School of Speech and Dramatic Art (BSSTD).

The list is a series of shows staged between 1954-1959.  This is interesting because Mawer finally retired in 1959, at the age of 66, and she moved away from Birmingham to the tiny village of Blewbury in the south of England.

Mawer was employed at BSSTD as Senior Tutor and Lecturer from 1954, on the closure of the Ginner-Mawer School of Dance and Drama (due to the retirement of Ruby Ginner).

In the handwritten list, I can make out:

The Kingdom of God; Sierra; The Trojan Women; The Rivals; Iphigenia; Harlequin’s Child; (illegible); Twelfth Night; Queen of the (?)Rebels(?); (?Bitti?); Dr Faustus.

Miss Mawer is quite keen to point out “Not all programmes here”, which I take to mean that there were other productions which she hasn’t yet listed.

According to an on-line currency converter (National Archives), the cost of the programme (3d – or three pence) would be about 30p today.  Not bad, I would say!

Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement and is now writing a book about the life of Irene Mawer.

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