Shirley Firth

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Shirley Firth. (1934-) Actor and producer.



She was born in Johannesburg on 3 March 1934.



She was kept in steady employment by PACT until 1966.

Towards the end of 1966 she ventured into management, joining forces with actor-director Angus Neill, calling themselves The Stage Company. They took a long lease on the Intimate Theatre, where their first production was a revival of The Little Hut.

The Stage Company did only three productions in two years but Shirley held onto the lease of the theatre. This led to her association with Pieter Toerien, operating as the Toerien-Firth Company.

Shirley did freelance writing on various topics for, inter alia, Business Day in the 1990s.

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

As an actress she appeared in Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle at the YMCA in 1955, Kushlick-Gluckman’s revival of Clare Boothe’s The Women (1961), Pyjama Tops (Brian Brooke Company at the Playhouse, 1963). She appeared in The Secretary Bird in 1969, for the first and last time in a play for which she was also the management.

As Manager

She staged the comedy The Little Hut at the Intimate Theatre, 1966. In 1967 The Stage Company put on The Creeper and their final production Caste, renamed True Hearts are more than Coronets, 1968.

Together with Toerien and Rubin she stepped forward as new management of the Intimate in 1969. Their first co-production was The Secretary Bird which was directed by Kerry Jordan and starred Jeremy Hawk, Shelagh Holliday, Ivan Berold and Firth herself. They also presented Sleuth circa 1970. T.268

So what about love?, directed by Patrick Tucker. Rubin-Toerien-Firth.

The Toerien-Firth Company presented many productions, starting with Who Killed Santa Claus? in 1971. Their last joint production at the Intimate Theatre was in 1982, namely the Baxter Theatre production of Robert Kirby’s It's a Boy!.

See Toerien-Firth Company for more information about their productions.

449: She produced Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs directed by Louis Burke at the André Huguenet Theatre in February 1986.

She returned briefly to the management scene when she presented Barry Creyton’s Double Act at the Windybrow Theatre in 1988.

Awards, etc


Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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