Ivor Novello

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ivor Novello (1893-1951). Welsh born composer, singer, actor, director, playwright. (Real names David Ivor Davies) [1]. Became one of the most popular British entertainers of the early to mid 20th century.

He died of tuberculosis at the age of fifty-three.

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

Toured South Africa with his plays Perchance to Dream (in 1947) and King's Rhapsody (in 1953 with Muriel Barron, Barry Sinclair, Olive Gilbert, Zena Dare and Anthony Farmer.) Many of his musicals performed in South Africa over the years, e.g. by the Johannesburg REPS, the Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society.

He was imported, together with his full company by African Theatres, to tour his musical Perchance to Dream starring Vanessa Lee. It appeared at His Majesty's Theatre in 1947. He'd enriched the world of musical comedy with his wealth of melodies. He composed his last operetta, King's Rhapsody in South Africa. It was performed in London, making a star of Vanessa Lee. Muriel Barron took her role when the production came to South Africa in 1953. This production also starred Barry Sinclair, Olive Gilbert, Zena Dare and Anthony Farmer. Anthony Farmer directed Novello’s The Dancing Years for the JODS in 1961.


Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities N

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to Main Page