Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Dr and Mrs Dwyer

Interviewed by Eve Klein on 30 November 2000
Subject: ,

Eve Klein. You were talking about the Amphitheatre; where was that located?

Mrs. Dwyer. At the northern end of Balmoral until it was replaced, post-war with that enormous red block of flats. The Amphitheatre was rather beautiful; it was almost derelict when we knew it. The only time I knew of it being used was in connection with my own parents, they belonged to a group of friends who had been organised by the Belgium Consul General who lived in the Spanish bungalow in Kirk Oswald Avenue, Balmoral Heights. He was mad about theatre and he’d organised an amateur theatrical group, and they put on French plays to raise money for The French and Belgium Benevolent Fund. This was in the 1930s. There was one performance in particular of Athalie that was to have been played there but they were washed out on the first night. That was the problem with the Amphitheatre, it rained, but the second performance was successful, they did that on a beautiful moonlight night, I gather.

Eve Klein. How long had the Amphitheatre been there? When was it erected?

Mrs. Dwyer. I think it was in the twenties. It was always there in our lifetime.

Dr Dwyer. It was built by the Theosophists – waiting for Jesus to come through the front door sort of thing.

Eve Klein. How often was it used?

Mrs. Dwyer. Very little, because of the weather.

Eve Klein. How long did the theatre company run?

Mrs. Dwyer. They went on for about 15 years, perhaps until Mr Chagall went away.

Eve Klein. It attracted good audiences?

Mrs. Dwyer. Yes, even Vice-Regal ones sometimes. They played once at the Mosman Town Hall, I know, and other times at the Conservatorium in town – various places and the rehearsals were great fun.