Special event! Celebrate the Independent Theatre’s 80th birthday with afternoon tea followed by a moved reading of the comedy 'French Without Tears' by Terence Rattigan, directed by Aarne Neeme. On September 2 1939 the legendary Dame Doris Fitton renamed and reopened The Independent Theatre with a production of the popular comedy 'French without Tears'. 80 years later the New Independent Players bring a special moved reading of the same play back to the Independent Theatre stage. Proudly presented by the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation, the performing arts charity responsible for rescuing and restoring the Independent Theatre in the 1990s.
“In the beginning was Doris. And Doris was the Independent theatre and the Independent Theatre was Doris”. Sumner Locke Elliott. The theatre was initially part of an 1886 tramshed (cable trams) and was rebuilt in 1911 as a vaudeville hall. It was variously known as the Coliseum Picture Hall, and the Criterion but it was Doris Fitton who named it the Independent after her theatre group, established in the centre of Sydney in 1930 at the beginning of the Depression, moved there during the weekend that War broke out in Europe. As Sydney’s oldest continuously operating “live” theatre, The Independent Theatre, located at 269 Miller Street, North Sydney, has experienced a varied and colourful history. Throughout its ages and stages, it has produced countless magical moments. The Independent can justly claim a unique place among Australian theatres. As it strove to educate and to meet the artistic needs of its community, it developed the role as a cradle, springboard and showcase for Australian talent. This special event is a celebration of the theatre, its rich history (and countless famous alumni.) and especially a tribute to the remarkable Doris Fitton and her contribution to Sydney theatre .Proudly presented by the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation – the force behind the rebuilding, renovation, rebirth and renaissance of the elegant Independent Theatre.