Shakespeare The Guardian's obituary for actress Jane Freeman, best known as Ivy the cafe owner in Last of the Summer Wine has this rather wonderful nugget. Her path into television began when she was asked to join the Osiris players, an all woman touring theatre group:
"Travelling in two Rolls-Royces with set, costumes and lights, the company toured schools, church halls and other spaces in England, Scotland and Wales, performing a repertoire that consisted mainly of Shakespeare. Paid 10 shillings a week, plus half a crown to watch other actors at work, each member of the company was involved in the stage management of the two or three performances given on most days; those with licences drove the cars towing the caravans in which the company slept. Two or more of the minor roles could be played as one, and there was doubling: Jane’s Portia in The Merchant of Venice was also Old Gobbo and as much of Lorenzo as remained in a truncated Act Five."
Back in 2004, a play was written about the theatre group which apparently helped inspire Judi Dench into acting. The Independent published a piece about the founder in 1995. The V&A retains their archive of papers.

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