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Harborough Museum
Society Spotlight: Harold Jones 1930s-1950s

Society Spotlight: Harold Jones 1930s-1950s

Harold Jones’ Vision – 1930s

Harold Jones was brought up in Birmingham and as a youth frequented the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, a leading centre of innovative and high-quality drama. Having joined the Harborough Drama Group in 1931 he was soon to be a key driving force in enabling them to perform more daring and ambitious theatre productions.

Harold’s ambition was rewarded with good reviews of Candida, their first full production, and he continued to realise his vision for high-quality drama in the town. Harold soon built up a society of highly competent players and he boasted “We are confident that there is not another society in England with similar resources, which has a better record of worth-while plays of varied appeal”. Cutting edge theatre was in town!

Harold Jones’ Legacy- 1940s-1960s

Harold’s boldness continued with plays by innovative British, Irish, Spanish and Russian playwrights. He was often praised for the quality of performance. Undaunted by restricted performance space, plays like Twelfth Night, and Lady Precious Stream, with their large casts, did not deter this talented producer.

But not all the “worthwhile plays” produced by Jones received such favour, and theatre critics felt he should consider the local public more when choosing plays. Tensions grew in the Drama Society and in 1946 Jones left to set up a rival company, the Apollo Players, with a poetry in theatre focus. However, his legacy as a force for change and elevating the theatre production and performance within Harborough cannot be forgotten.

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