Historical information

From the early 1950s, the Kew Repertory Players performed more substantial, if less spectacular fare in the Recreation Hall, and later in the new Kew City Hall, after the former’s demolition in 1960. Their repertoire ranged from plays by Noel Coward to J.B. Priestley. Many of their programmes, the earliest from 1953, and the last from 1965, form part of our collection.


Arthur Henry Dear was an employee of the City of Kew, acting as Hall Keeper of the Kew Recreation Hall in Wellington Street, and later the new Kew City Hall in Cotham Road. The Arthur Dear Collection contains memorabilia - tickets, programmes, invitations - as well as his identification badge. Items in the collection dates from the 1940s to the 1970s. The Kew Recreation Hall (Wellington Street) and later the Kew City Hall (Cotham Road) were major locations in suburban Melbourne in the postwar period for civic and private events including theatre productions and exhibitions. The Arthur Dear Collection (in conjunction with the scrapbooks compiled by Marion Tilley) provide a comprehensive snapshot of performing arts in Kew during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The collection includes valuable data about performances, performers, directors etc., during this period.

Physical description

Programme issued by The Kew Repertory Players for a performance of Trial and Error by Kenneth Horne. Performances took place in the Kew Recreation Hall in November 1958. The 4-page programme includes a cast list, a synopsis and advertisements for local businesses.