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Toerien-Firth (1970-1982) was an influential theatre company created by Pieter Toerien and Shirley Firth

Being edited (November 2023)

The company

The performances

Productions over the period of their existence have included:


1971: Who Killed Santa Claus? (directed by Anthony Sharp with John Justin and Naomi Chance); Don’t Start Without Me (directed by Roger Redfarn with Jeremy Hawk) and No sex Please, We’re British (directed by Allen Davis and starring Billy Boyle).



1974: [Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love (starring Robert Flemyng)

Toerien-Firth presented Who Killed Santa Claus? starring John Justin and Naomi Chance, with direction by Anthony Sharp in 1971. They also staged Toerien-Firth presented Wait Until Dark starring Shirley Anne Field at the Intimate in 1972. He presented Frederick Knott’s Dial M for Murder, starring [[John Gregson[[ and Joan Fontaine and directed by Philip Grout in 1972. Toerien-Firth presented the Francis Durbridge thriller Suddenly at Home and Royce Ryton’s Crown Matrimonial at the Intimate in 1973. The latter starred Owen Holder and Peggy Thorpe-Bates [1]. They also brought Libby Morris to star in Just Libby in December 1973. Toerien-Firth brought Muriel Pavlow, Robert Flemyng, Robert Beatty and Ron Smerczak to star at the Intimate in Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love in 1974. They also got John Fernald to direct Hildegard Neil in a revival of Private Lives, and Heather Lloyd-Jones to star in Jerome Chodorov’s A Community of Two, directed by Chodorov at the Intimate in 1974. Toerien-Firth brought Maxine Audley and Richard Huggett with director Laurier Lister from England for Not Bloody Likely at the Intimate and Jeremy Hawk and Elspeth March from England for The Payoff at the Intimate in 1975. Toerien-Firth revived Tennessee WilliamsA Streetcar Named Desire with Michael McGovern and Anne Rogers in 1975. In 1976 Toerien-Firth brought back Owen Holder to star in Royce Ryton’s For the Woman I love; They took a lease on the Little Theatre and renamed it the Barnato Theatre, after mining magnate Barney Barnato. Their opening production Caught in the Act, devised and directed by England’s Charles Ross with Anna Quayle and Graham Armitage was staged in 1976. Royce Ryton’s The Other Side of the Swamp starring Royce Ryton himself, together with Eckard Rabe under direction by Graham Armitage was staged at the Barnato in 1976. It ran for a year. Toerien-Firth staged William Douglas Home’s The Kingfisher at the Intimate in 1977. They also staged The Monkey Walk starring Barbara Kinghorn and British actor Richard Warwick, later replaced by Paul Jericco at the Barnato in 1977. Toerien-Firth presented Anthony Marriott and John Chapmans’s Shut Your Eyes and Think of England, directed by Roger Redfarn and starring Peter Blythe (later replaced by Simon Merrick). It ran at the Intimate from 1978 to January 1979. Together with Shirley Firth he presented Terence Rattigan’s Cause Célèbre, directed by Joan Kemp-Welch and starring Mary Millar and William Lucas in 1978. It ran at the Andre Huguenet for nine months. Toerien-Firth staged Royce Ryton’s The Unvarnished Truth with Michael Richard, Anthony Fridjhon, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Lynne White and directed by Joan Kemp-Welch at the Intimate in 1979. Toerien-Firth presented Sextet by Michael Pertwee at the Andre Huguenet in 1979. Toerien-Firth produced Mothers and Fathers with Clive Parnell, Lesley Nott, Elizabeth Rae and Ian Winter which was staged at the Barnato Theatre in 1980. Together with Firth he staged Hugh Leonard’s A Life directed by Godfrey Quigley and starring Quigley and Margaret Inglis at the Brooke, Mark Camelotti’s Happy Birthday starring Clive Scott at the Intimate, and Simon Gray’s Stage Struck directed by Stephen Hollis and starring Michael McGovern and Kenneth Baker in 1980. Toerien-Firth staged their last joint production at the Intimate in 1982 namely the Baxter Theatre production of Robert Kirby’s It's a Boy! starring Dale Cutts, Bo Petersen and James Irwin and directed by Keith Grenville.