The Friends of Dame Laura Knight Society,
Malvern & Colwall Branch

Dame Laura at the Theatre - Malvern Gazette August 1965

The famous veteran artist, Dame Laura Knight, a frequent visor to Malvern for many years, was among the audience at the Festival Theatre at the Saturday matinee of "An Inspector Calls," by J. B. Priestley.

Dame Laura, who celebrated her 88th birthday on August 4, has been staying at the Park Hotel, Colwall, following the launching of her Retrospective Exhibition in London at the Royal Academy; it is the first time that an exhibition has been devoted solely to her work and the first time that a woman has been so honoured at the Academy.

Miss Winifred Barrows, former headmistress of Lawnside School, which, in pre-war Malvern Festival years Sir Barry Jackson, the Festival's Director, used to take over in August for his guests, organised a party for last Saturday's matinee, and asked Dame Laura to join her and her friends. Among the latter was Mr. Tom English, who was Sir Barry's personal secretary.

The party were received in the foyer by Lady Garrod and Mr. K. T. Gibbon, members of the Malvern Theatre Trust.

Later, Dame Laura, who has many memories of the Malvern Festivals of other days, spoke with enthusiasm and praise of the performance and said that she hoped to be able to see other plays of the 1965 Malvern Season.

- with Dame Laura Knight (second from left) in the theatre foyer on Saturday are (left to right): Mr. Tom English, Mr. Lally, brother of the late Gwen Lally, who directed the Malvern Pageant of 1951,
Mrs Edith de Peyer, Mr. K. T. Gibbon, Miss Winifred Barrows, Miss Gwen Parke and Lady Garrod.