Advocates: A student's perspective

In September 1958, Studio Theatre Ltd embarked on its first major tour (this was the first time, the Scarborough acting company went on tour with plays from the summer season in the town). During October, the company spent four weeks at various venues in Leicester and on 3 October, Stephen Joseph visited Alderman Newton Boys' Grammar School to give a talk. Here, thanks to the scrapbook of John Bonham, we have one of the pupil's recollections of the visit as published in the school magazine.

On Friday, 3rd October, the School Dramatic Society was most pleased to welcome as its speaker, Mr. Stephen Joseph, producer of the visiting Theatre in the Round. It seems ironical that he should give up his precious time to pass on to other people his passion for acting while people of Leicester could not take the trouble to visit his noteworthy efforts to give new life to the dying theatre.
He arrived and from the minute that he pushed back the chairs, pulled off his coat, loosened his tie, and whipped off his glasses, his forceful personality was being transmitted to his fascinated audience.
“Acting under Production ” was his topic and
Dial M For Murder was the play which the Society was using for the purpose. However the play itself was secondary. After a few moments Mr. Joseph interrupted with a question, a thought, an idea. This continued throughout. All the time he was prompting his audience to think for themselves. One felt at the end that one’s knowledge of acting technique had improved beyond measurement. Always was Mr. Joseph the centre of attraction, a smiling, lively figure, transmitting his ideas to the onlookers with fire and vigour. This impression was intensified two weeks later when he gave another talk on “Forms of Theatre” with such speed and clarity that he left both himself and his audience breathless.
The School will rarely be visited by such a fine speaker. (M.E.K.)

With thanks to John Bonham and Adam and Mary Jones for bringing this and other material relating to the 1958 Leicester tour to the website's attention.