Story: Theatre companies and producers

James Shelley, 1927

James Shelley, 1927

The dynamic educationalist and theatre-lover James Shelley founded the Canterbury College Drama Society in 1921, the year after he joined the college's staff. In 1927 the society opened the Little Theatre on campus. This photo shows a production in that year of John Masefield's verse play Good Friday. Shelley produced the play, with the help of Neta Billcliff. With characteristic versatility and energy, he also appeared in it – he is the bearded figure kneeling at centre. 

Using this item

Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury
Reference: MB1985, item 79483, Presentation album of the play “Good Friday”, 1927

Permission of the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Theatre companies and producers - Wartime and interwar theatre', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 July 2022)

Story by Mark Derby, published 22 Oct 2014