"Beginners please; my life in amateur theatre"; by Bert Williams
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- Textual record
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CA UNB MG H 132
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[ca. 1979] (Creation)
- Williams, Bert
- This fonds consists of a photocopy of Bert William's book, copied in 1979
91 p. of textual records
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Bert Williams was born in England about 1900. In January 1914, about age 13, he left school and took a job as an errand boy for the family butcher. During wartime, he worked long hours at a number of different jobs, including in several cinemas.
About 1918 Williams joined the Bolton Lads Club and the Workers' Educational Society. One of the educational society's primary objectives was to interest members of the working-class in various subjects, one being a play-reading group which presented amateur productions.
By 1949 Williams had married Florence Chadwick, and the couple had emigrated to become branch manager of Manchester, Robertson and Allison Ltd.'s new store located in Fredericton, NB. While in Fredericton, Williams became involved with the University of New Brunswick Drama Society, the Fredericton Players Guild, and the Provincial Drama Festival.
Eventually, Bert and Florence moved to Victoria, British Columbia where Bert became involved with the Victoria Theatre Guild. Over the years his work in the theatre included that of an actor, director, and stage hand. In June 1979 Bert Williams made his last public appearance on stage in the McPherson Theatre, Victoria.
Source: Williams, Bert, Beginners Please, My Life in Amateur Theatre
This volume was written and compile by Bert Williams.
Scope and content
This is a photocopy of a bound volume of Bert William's "Beginners Please My Life in Amateur Theatre". The work discusses his early life, including growing up in a working-class neighbourhood of Bolton, Lancashire, England; attending school; and working at various occupations while a young boy -- in a factory, in a cotton mill, and for several cinemas. He also comments on his early years in amateur theatre, the Workers' Educational Society, the First World War (Great War), the Second World War, and his work in adult theatre, both in England and in Canada, as a director, actor, and stage hand . The volume also includes photocopies of newspaper clippings, correspondence, and theatre programmes.
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Included is a listing of names of theatrical productions along with notations of Williams' role in them (actor, director, or stage hand) and the date and place of the performance (Canada or England).
Information copied from Archives Canada Database, CAIN No. 158893, 25 October 2012.