Toerien-Rubin Company

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Basil Rubin and Pieter Toerien formed this company circa 1963 and staged many variety shows topped by visiting British artists such as vocalist Alma Cogan and Dickie Valentine, booked by Hugo Keleti. They brought out the English comedians Dora Bryan and Alfred Marks in 1964. They presented American stand-up comedian Allen Sherman in 1965. They brought Marlene Dietrich to South Africa to the Civic in 1965, and again in 1966. Toerien-Rubin staged James Ambrose-Brown’s The Years of the Locust at the Alexander Theatre, starring Johann Nell, Frank Shelley and Yvonne Bryceland in 1966 They brought Russ Conway back to the Civic in 1967. They brought Hollywood dancer-actress Cyd Charisse and her husband, Tony Martin to the Civic in August 1967. They presented Aleksei Arbuzov’s The Promise, starring English actor Andrew Ray, John Fraser and British actress Olive McFarland [1] at the Brooke in 1967. It was directed by Leonard Schach. They also staged the revue Maggie and Frank, starring Maggie Soboil and Frank Lazarus, at the Brooke in 1967. They started importing complete productions from the West End, starting with Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, starring Richard Todd, Jean Kent, Vanessa Lee, Peter Graves, Derek Bond and Joyce Grant in 1969. They brought Dames at Sea [2] to the Alexander Theatre from America, directed by Don Liberto, in 1969. They also brought Jimmy Edwards’ London hit Big Bad Mouse, starring Cardew Robinson and Bess Finney circa 1969. Together with Shirley Firth, Toerien and Rubin stepped forward as new management of the Intimate in 1969. Their first co-production was The Secretary Bird which was directed by Kerry Jordan and starred Jeremy Hawk, Shelagh Holliday, Ivan Berold and Firth. In 1970 the Toerien-Rubin partnership dissolved and the Toerien-Firth partnership was born. They staged Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels at the Alexander circa 1970. It starred Hermione Gingold and Joan Heal. Together with Firth they staged Anthony Shaffer’s thriller Sleuth, starring Ralph Michael and Nicholas Amer, and directed by Warren Jenkins at the Intimate circa 1970. They brought director Anthony Sharp and actors Cicely Courtneidge, Jack Hulbert, Roger Livesey, Ursula Jeans, David Kossoff and Robertson Hare from London to star in Oh, Clarence at the Civic circa 1970. **** Percy Tucker, 1997

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