Difference between revisions of "Gwen ffrangçon-Davies"

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'''Gwen ffrangçon-Davies''' (1891-1992) was a distinguished actress, singer, and theatrical entrepreneur. (Her name also written  [[Gwen Ffrangçon-Davies]], particularly so in England, or occasionally in South Africa without the French ''cédille'' as [[Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies]]). [TH, JH, SH, AA]
#REDIRECT [[Gwen Ffrangçon-Davies]]
== Biography ==
Born in London on 25 January 1891, the only daughter of David ffrangcon-Davies, a Welsh operatic baritone.
She died in January 1992 in London at the age of 101.
=== Training ===
She was trained by Mrs L.M. Hicks and Agnes Platt.
=== Career ===
Gwen began as an operatic singer, then joined the Old Vic, for which her first stage appearance was in ''A Midsummer Night's Dream''. She went on to Birmingham Rep as a dramatic actress, also working in the West End and at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon. In 1924, she played Juliet in ''Romeo and Juliet'' and Queen Anne in ''Richard of Bordeaux'' in 1934, both with John Gielgud, ''[[Henry V]] '' (with Ivor Novello, 1934), ''Gas Light'' (1934) and ''Macbeth'' (1942).
She moved to South Africa in 1940 with [[Marda Vanne]] and became a director of the resuscitated [[Pretoria Repertory Theatre]]. ''[[Twelfth Night]]'' 1940/41.
In 1942 they formed the [[Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne Company]] and toured the country to present fine classical and modern productions. (See [[Gwen ffrangçon-Davies / Marda Vanne Company]]).
She returned to Britain in 1946 to continue with a long and distinguished career on the British stage.
She retired from the stage in 1970, but continued to appear on radio and television. She was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1991, aged 100, six months before her death at age 101, and made her final acting appearance in a teleplay of the Sherlock Holmes story ''The Master Blackmailer'' opposite Jeremy Brett that same year. Her other films included ''The Witches'' (1966) and ''The Devil Rides Out'' (1968).
==Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance==
She played leads in and/or directed works such as ''[[Watch on the Rhine]]'' (1943 at the [[Standard Theatre]]), ''[[Flare Path]]'' (194*), ''[[What Every Woman Knows]]'' (194*), ''[[Blithe Spirit]]'' (1944), ''[[Milestones]]'' (194*), ''[[Merry Wives of Windsor]]'' (1945), ''[[The Wind of Heaven]]'' (1946), ''[[A Month in the Country]]'' (1946) her last production before she went back to England.
In 1943, she had pleaded unsuccessfully for the establishment of a national “Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts”.
After her return to Britain she occasionally returned to work in South Africa, for instance ''[[Macbeth]]'' in Afrikaans, was directed by her in 1950 for the [[National Theatre]]. It was staged at [[His Majesty's Theatre]] and starred [[André Huguenet]] and [[Anna Neethling-Pohl]].  Directed ''[[Much Ado about Nothing]]'' for the inauguration of the new [[Johannesburg Repertory Theatre|Reps Theatre]], designed by Manfred Hermer, in 1951. It starred [[Margaret Inglis]] and [[Jack Ralphs]]. Starred in ''[[Waters of the Moon]]'' by N.C. Hunter  and produced and played in ''[[The Innocents]]'' in 1953. In 1971 she appeared in ''[[Dear Antoine]]'' for [[CAPAB]].
== Awards, etc ==
== Sources ==
Phyllis Hartnoll.  ''The Oxford Companion to the Theatre''
[[Percy Tucker]]. 1997. ''Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business''. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. 
[[P.J. du Toit]]. 1988. ''Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika''. Pretoria: Academica
"Gwen Ffrangçon-Davies" in [[Wikipedia]][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwen_Ffrangcon-Davies]
"Schach on plays and plans". 1970. The [[Pretoria News]] 16 July.
''[[Scenaria]]'' (120), January 1991.
== Return to ==
Return to [[ESAT Personalities  F]]
Return to [[South_African_Theatre/Personalities|South African Theatre Personalities]]
Return to [[The ESAT Entries]]
Return to [[Main Page]]

Latest revision as of 16:18, 19 April 2022