Brian Brooke Company

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A theatre company founded in Cape Town by Brian Brooke and his new wife Petrina Fry, when he returned to South Africa in 1946. The Brian Brooke Theatre Company utilized the Hofmeyr Theatre as its base (1948 to 1954), but also toured, notably to the Transvaal, under the auspices of African Consolidated Theatres. Their productions in this time included Coward’s Present Laughter (1948), Present Laughter (1949), No Room at the Inn (1949), The Heiress (1949), Edward, My Son (1950 – it closed after five days), Traveller's Joy (1950), See How They Run (1950), R.F. Delderfield’s A Worm's Eye View (1951). They started bringing out British guest artists to appear with the company in 1952, starting with Cecil Parker for The White Sheep of the Family (1952) and Emlyn Williams for Charles Dickens (1954) and Dylan Thomas: A Boy Growing Up (1956). In 1955 they moved to Johannesburg where Brooke designed and built the Brian Brooke Theatre. They opened with The Deep Blue Sea (1955) and followed this with over 300 plays in South Africa, touring many of them, concentrating on light farce, drawing room comedy and musicals. Key directors and artists who worked with them over the years included Rex Garner, **Among their productions were The Reluctant Debutante (1956), , Separate Tables (1957), Janus (1958), Grab Me a Gondola (1958), The Chalk Garden (1960), Charley's Aunt (1960), Mary, Mary (1963), The Sound of Music (1963), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1965), Tevye and His Daughters (co-produced with Taubie Kushlick, 1966), Listen to the Wind (co-produced with Taubie Kushlick, 1966), The Minstrel Show (1966), The Odd Couple (with Anthony James, 1966), Harvey (1969), You Can't Take It With You (1972), Any Wednesday (1973), Ipi Thombi (with Basil Rubin, 1974), Home at Seven (1977), The Ageing Adolescent (1978). Also Poor Richard (Kerr, 196*)


Brooke, 1978; De Beer, 1995; Kruger, 1999; Tucker, 1997 (TH)

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