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Kate and Bert Bremer, travelling actors.

Photo of Kat and Bert Bremer

Sue wrote: "My grandparents had a portable theatre which travelled mainly in South Wales. Their names were Mr and Mrs Bert Bremer and the theatre was The Alexandra Theatre. We know they were in Monmouth in 1905, then Stroud in January 1906, and then in Cinderford in February 1906 (source 'The Stage' newspaper. Among your photos and ephemera is there anything relating to this visit? The theatre was a substantial building of timber with canvas roof, took 3 days to erect (and to dismantle) so they did stay in one place for at least several weeks".

"In the photos above are Kate and Bert Bremer who ran the Alexandra Theatre from 1898 till about 1911.  Kate was the leading lady and Bert was the comedian - we have no idea what this play was but it is a good example of the kinds of plays they offered with their company.  The other picture is of Bert in the famous play 'Charlie's Aunt'  playing the leading comic role of the young undergraduate who has to dress up as a middle aged aunt of one of his friends to provide a chaperone for some young ladies who are visiting the college rooms.  They certainly gave the audiences value for their 3d, 6d or 1/- as you got a drama, an interlude of song or dance or some other turn, and then a short farce or comic scene to send the audience out laughing.  They visited Cinderford in February and March 1906, and at one point during this period Bert Bremer was advertising in 'The Stage' newspaper for actors to join the company".

Eric Nichols added: "... Unfortunately only the Dean Forest Guardian version is available for 1906. The Dean Forest Mercury might have been more forthcoming. I was hoping there might have been an advert for the theatre, which would have said where they were performing.This is all I could see in the Guardian (in the District News section):- CINDERFORD THEATRICALS - The Town Hall on Monday was occupied with a pantomime company, entitled "Robinson Crusoe", under the direction of Mr. C. Nugent, an old Forest favourite, when a fairly good audience was present, to whom the company gave every satisfaction - Mr. G. Alexander's theatre is also well-patronised every evening, and, judging from the sounds of applause frequently heard, every satisfaction must be given to his patrons".

"You will notice the theatre company is referred to as "Mr. G. Alexander's", not Alexandra".

"As far as a venue is concerned I am told travelling fairs set up in the field next to the railway station (now occupied by the Hanover Court old people's apartments). This may have applied to the Alexandra travelling theatre too. The Empire in Commercial Street was also used for purposes other than as a cinema. Without something in print it is impossible to say. I spotted a report in the Citizen which said the theatre had been granted a licence to perform in Ross-on-Wye in March 1906".

Image of a press cutting
The Citizen 10 March 1906.

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