Battery Mess

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Battery Mess is a comedy written by Cyril Wentzel, based on his experiences while on service in Italy during World War II. It was presented by his Reef Theatre company and opened at the Germiston City Hall on 18 February before moving on to Boksburg, Benoni and Springs. It was then staged at the Coronation Hall in Claim Street, Johannesburg from 1 March and eventually toured the West Rand and the rest of the country before returning to the Coronation Hall on 10 May. The original cast included Wentzel, his wife Ursula Strachey, Eric Rutherford, John Wiles, Donald Wayne, Alfred Brandon, Joe Goodman and Bernard Price. For the subsequent tour Wayne, Brandon and Goodman were replaced by Richard Aubrey, Robert Anderson and Victor Eynsford. The visiting British film director Frank Cadman saw the play and recruited five members of the cast for his children’s serial The Mystery of the Snakeskin Belt (1949), made by Gaumont-British Africa for Children’s Entertainment Films.


Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

Sunday Times, 29 February 1948

Sunday Times, 9 May 1948

Sunday Times, 24 October 1948

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