Mrs. Joan Keith recently donated dozens of Queensland theatre programs from the 1950s to State Library of Queensland. Many local theatres are represented including Albert Hall, All Saints Hall, Gowrie Hall in the Brisbane area and regional theatres as well. She shares the following about her love of theatre in Queensland and Victoria.
“I began life with a stutter and an “S” impediment so was taught Elocution which became Art of Speech, then Speech and Drama. When Rhoda Felgate from Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane came to Kingaroy to adjudicate at the Eisteddfod she gave me exercises which cured the problems. I competed in Kingaroy Eisteddfods throughout my school years, then Brisbane and Queensland ( Ipswich) Eisteddfods.
At age 15 in 1954 I moved to Brisbane with the family and immediately joined Twelfth Night Business Group where I played bit parts in a few productions. My Dad took me to see South Pacific and I was hooked. I joined Gallery First Nighters where we got cheap tickets for first night and often finished with a party with the performers, so I attended most J.C. Williamson productions at His Majesties Theatre as well as other shows around Brisbane.
St Hugh’s Anglican Church at Inala started St Hughes Players where I performed in a few productions before I produced some and found production/direction was my preference. I married and moved to Roma where there was no theatre group so a Western Star reporter, the Commonwealth Bank manager’s wife and I began Roma Repertory. Though I acted in a couple of productions I mostly produced many plays. In 1966 I moved to Melbourne and produced three or four plays a year with St Christopher’s Players, East Bentleigh for the six years I lived there.” – Joan Keith
State Library is particularly interested in receiving donations about Albert Hall as this is one of the areas of research that will take place during FY18/19 in the John Oxley Library. If you have any programs, leaflets, posters or tickets for Brisbane’s old Albert Hall and would like to donate them please contact us.