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1958 - The Commonwealth Players
The Commonwealth Players were so named because they came from different parts of the Commonwealth: Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, and so on. They were a weekly repertory company that lasted at the (now-demolished) Theatre Royal from September 1, 1958, until January, 1959. Much of their fare was typical rep, but they also managed to produce things like 'Arms and the Man', 'The Diary of Anne Frank', Moliere's 'School for Wives', and Ibsen's 'Ghosts' (not a wise choice).
One of the survivors is Kenneth Paul Shorey who was billed as Kenneth Paul, and now live in Miami Beach, Florida. The only other known survivor was/is Michael Pearson, last heard of living in Toronto, Canada.
Kenneth writes to say that his first wife was born and raised in Castleford. He say's he has many memories of Castleford, not all of them pleasant ones. But what the hell he remembers the Albion Pub as a great place.
He also says that The Commonwealth Players were directed by James Lovell, former Stage Manager for Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in London. Castleford was chosen as a site because the Theatre Royal was dark (and available) at the time. It had been a venue for many different companies (and touring pantomimes) during the '30s and '40s. Later, it became a venue for wrestling contests and touring rock groups. When Castleford tore the theatre down, he feels that it tore down one of the town's most historic landmarks.
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