John Whitley has been around some! He performed under the direction of Brain Brooke, Taubie Kushlick and Leonard Schach. He trod the boards alongside Petrina Frey, Margaret Inglis and Heather Lloyd Jones. He saw an era when first nights were grand occasions, when men wore suits and women wore gowns. It was a time when critiques made or broke a play and critics were heady with power, Dora Sowden lashed out at performances with her acerbic pen and Oliver Walker was quietly quoted at snobbish dinner parties. His is a bygone era, before television, when theatre was the sole entertainment is a rich burgeoning city, needy of glamour and sophisticated stimulation.

John tells a story with wry humour of a time gone by, he gives an insight into the pecking order of actors, the hierarchy of dressing rooms; the fever of first nights when admirers sent flowers backstage to favorite actors.

He also reads from his biographic one-man play, which touches on a life in theatre… in those days.

John Whitely passed away on 5th August 2021

“…The only ones that will succeed are the ones that are bloody well going to go into it no matter what anybody says…”