Historical & Field Society

HISTORICAL & FIELD SOCIETY

I am certain that you will be familiar with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which now adjoins the new Library. Perhaps you will not be so familiar with its predecessor, which we now refer to as the ‘Old Rep’, in Station Street, Birmingham.

The Old Rep theatre, opened in 1913, as a permanent home for Barry Jackson’s increasingly well established amateur theatre group. ‘The Pilgrim Players’, as they were then known became The Birmingham Repertory Company. Barry Jackson, a wealthy entrepreneur, funded the construction of the theatre, and established his professional company there.

It was the first purpose-built repertory theatre in the UK and amazingly only took four months to build. It was one of the UK’s premier theatre venues and many great stars have walked the boards. There is still an original mirror from the opening of the Old Rep just before you walk on stage. One name you might remember is Arnold Ridley, probably better known to us as Private Godfrey, in ‘Dad’s Army’. Although an actor throughout his life, he also wrote over 30 plays, of which the ‘Ghost Train’ in 1923 is probably his best known.

Our next meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall is on Tuesday 5 December 2017 at 8.00pm with a presentation by Andrew Crabtree entitled “Christmas Songs and Carols”. This is a return visit for Andrew from 2014 when he presented ‘The History of the Piano’ Visitors are most welcome at all our events – see hhfs.org.uk for details and contacts

Jeff Cope
884820
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Last update: Sunday 26 November 2017

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