H. Edward Newman

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Amateur Dramatics

Edward’s passion outside of his work and family was amateur dramatics, and wherever he lived he joined or created a Dramatic Society.  He might have been too ill to go to work, but he would always make it to rehearsals.  So I think it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that Edward would have loved to have been an actor.

The Masques of  Comedy and Tragedy bookending the trees of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Square, topped with the clock tower of the Institute.


For instance, he was in the dramatic society at Sanderson’s - typically designing the programmes. He created one at Norfolk Mansions, turning their sitting room into a miniature theatre. Once they’d moved into the Hampstead Garden Suburb he became a member of The Play and Pageant Union and the Speedwell Players. Those two groups later amalgamated to become the Hampstead Garden Suburb Dramatic Society for whom he also designed the logo [left].

Margaret was never a performer; she made costumes and anything else that might have been required.

Not only did Edward act, but he directed too. Below left is a picture of him directing one of the many productions of A Midsummer Nights Dream in the Littlewood, of the Suburb. The rehearsal is apparently taking place at night. Edward is (as he always was) beautifully dressed, including the obligatory umbrella – well it was an open air theatre.

A programme of The Derson Dramatic Society.  He played the lead and directed (and designed the programme).  This performance was held at the Guildhall School of Music theatre.  They also performed at what was then The Cripplegate Institute - later my school!

Edward directing A Midsummer Nights Dream in 1950, he did a further 2 productions of the play which each had a granddaughter playing a fairy.
Needless to say he also designed the costumes. Pictured right is one he created for John Garside in a play called The Stars, produced in 1933.

And below Edward in the same costume.


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