Frank Shelley

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Frank Shelley (1912-2004). British actor and director.


Frank Shelley was born in London, on 6 February 1912. He died on 8 November 2004.



Frank Shelley has appeared on Broadway and in the West End, and has acted with many varied artists. He was Director of the Oxford Playhouse from 1946 to 1956. In addition to his having acted under Bernard Shaw, he has acquired considerable experience in Shavian roles, e.g. the Inquisitor in Saint Joan, Henry Higgins in Pygmalion and King Magnus in The Apple Cart.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

As actor

He was brought to South Africa in 1966 especially to take the lead in The Years of the Locust, also starring Yvonne Bryceland.

He starred in and directed the Reps production of Forever April at the Alexander Theatre in 1967. He played the lead in and directed How's the World Treating You?. He was responsible for the CAPAB production of Heartbreak House in 1967. In 1968 he appeared in the CAPAB productions of Cape Charade and Candida as Rev. James Morell. He played The Actor in Dear Liar, 1972.

As director/producer

He staged The Anniversary (by Bill MacIlwraith), starring Erica Rogers and Ian Hamilton at the Alexander Theatre in 1966.

Michele Maxwell and Dorothy-Ann Gould starred in his production of Shaw’s Major Barbara for PACT in January 1975.

For NAPAC he directed Peter Pan, The Apple Cart, Private Lives (1968), Ghosts (1968), Crime on Goat Island, (1969), Don Quixote of La Mancha (December 1969), Let's Get a Divorce (Alhambra Theatre 1970), Long Day's Journey into Night at the Alhambra Theatre from 1 Sept 1975.

Other productions include Winter Journey (CAPAB 1967), Annie Get Your Gun (CAPAB 1973), Charley's Aunt (PACT 1973), Conspiracy (PACT 1976), Stop the World – I Want to Get Off (PACT Alexander Theatre 1976).

In 1969 and 1970 he directed productions of The Emperor for NAPAC and PACOFS.

Directed Arms and the Man, (Rhodes University Drama Department 1973).

Awards, etc


Obituary published in The Telegraph [1].

Report by Percy Baneshik published in the Rand Daily Mail, 5 September 1966.

IMDb [2].

Theatre programmes of various productions held by NELM.

Tucker, 1997.

Candida theatre programme, 1968.

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

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