The Adelphi Players
The Theatre of Persons
Edited by Peter Billingham
Introduction by Peter Billingham
Routledge – 2001 – 106 pages
Cecil Davies' The Adelphi Players: The Theatre of Persons represents a uniquely interesting contribution to our understanding of touring British theatre in the mid-twentieth-century, post-war period. This book will interest everyone - whether student, academic or general reader - who wants to know more about issues concerning the recent history of British theatre. In their values and aims, the Adelphi Players pre-empted many of the post-war developments that we associate with the non-commercial, fringe and community theatre movement. In Richard Heron Ward founder of the Adelphi-Players, we encounter a dramatist, novelist, essayist and poet who has been unusually neglected in terms of our appreciation of the English literature of the broad left in the 1930s, `40s and `50s.
The Adelphi Players has been edited by Peter Billingham, who has also provided an introduction placing Ward and the Adelphi players in the wider social, cultural and ideological context.
Dr Cecil Davies studied at University College, London, where he gained a First Class Honours degree in English Language and Literature. Exempted from military service on grounds of conscience, he spent the years 1941-48 as a professional actor, stage manager, designer and director in the Adelphi Players, as well as in the Colchester Repertory Theatre. For many years a Director of the Century Theatre in Bolton, and the author of several plays, Dr Davies has been Senior Staff Tutor in Literature in the Extra-Mural Department of the University of Manchester.
Dr Peter Billingham is Principal Lecturer in Drama at Bath Spa University College, Bath, UK. A researcher and awar-winning dramatist, he is the author of Theatres of Conscience - companion volume to The Adelphi Players - to be published in the Routledge Harwood Contemporary Theatre Studies.