Barnato Theatre

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In 1976 Shirley Firth and Pieter Toerien took a lease on the Little Theatre situated in Cornerhouse Building, Johannesburg and renamed it the Barnato Theatre, after mining magnate and theatre personality Barney Barnato. Their opening production Caught in the Act, devised and directed by England’s Charles Ross with Anna Quayle and Graham Armitage in 1976. Royce Ryton’s The Other Side of the Swamp starring Ryton himself, together with Eckard Rabe under direction by Graham Armitage was staged here in 1976. It ran for a year. Toerien-Firth staged The Monkey Walk starring Barbara Kinghorn and British actor Richard Warwick, later replaced by Paul Jericco here in 1977. Toerien-Firth Company produced Mothers and Fathers with Clive Parnell, Lesley Nott, Elizabeth Rae and Ian Winter which was staged here in 1980. *** (Tucker, 1997)

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