Mosman Voices - oral histories online

John Wilmot Roberts

Interviewed by Trish Levido on 15 December 2005
Subject: ,

John Roberts. Yes, quaint old days and there’s something documented in books about Balmoral – the Amphitheatre played a small part in my youth.

After the Theosophical Society stopped using it, after the date had expired, a musical company took a lease and they put on musical-style shows. The entrepreneur was Humphrey Bishop and the main singer was a baritone, his brother Walter Kingsley – his stage name I assume. It was musical hall-style entertainment with a chorus line and singers and comedians, mainly on Friday and Saturday nights in summertime of course, and it was very beautiful except the seats were just concrete steps so people mostly took rugs or cushions. That could be a very lovely evening especially if you got a balmy summer evening and maybe the moon coming up over North Head. That faded out after a couple of years.

Trish Levido. Was the Amphitheatre ever used by anybody else?

John Roberts. No. Not as an amphitheatre. A Catholic order acquired it and used it as headquarters or a retreat of some nature, and in due course it was demolished and that huge block of flats was built. I can remember going around the rocks towards Wyargine Point to the north of the beach, some industrious young men set to in the early 1930s and there was a natural formation there to form a pool and they set about building a rock pool around there, not very large but shark-proof, it was known as ‘The Frazzle’.