production’s saving grace is Miss Stallybrass’s sparklingly zany
performance as Ida.
She is a young actress of great promise.
re Pools Paradise
Folkestone & Hythe Herald
10 June 1961
After leaving the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied drama
and teaching, Anne began her professional career as an Assistant
Stage Manager with the Arthur Brough Players at the Leas Pavilion in
The repertory company was
set up in Folkestone by actor Arthur Brough and his wife in 1929,
and except for a break during the Second World War, the company was
in existence until 1969. Arthur
Brough may well sound a familiar name; he is most famous for his
role as Mr Grainger in the BBC TV comedy Are You Being Served.
At the time Anne was with the Players, they also had a sister
company based at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-On-Sea.
Each week the company put on
a new play except during the summer holiday season when productions
lasted two weeks. This
rapid turnover must have involved a lot of hard work for all
concerned. A unique
aspect of the Leas Pavilion was that it held tea matinees.
For the afternoon performances alternate rows of seats were
removed, tables put in their place and the audience served their
afternoon tea which was eaten whilst simultaneously watching the
Anne joined the Arthur Brough Players in August 1960. Her first
professional role was as Poppy Dickey in Rookery Nook which
opened on 29 August.
During the second half of
1960, Anne appeared in about half the plays staged by the company,
presumably undertaking ASM duties in most of the other productions.
Two of the plays she had roles in during her first six months
were The Aspern Papers and Candida; many years later she would appear
in these plays again but in different roles.
As she gained experience, Anne
appeared increasingly frequently and in ever larger roles; her first
lead being Jo in A Taste Of Honey during April 1961.
Although based mostly at
Folkestone, Anne also appeared with the company in her hometown in
five productions during 1961. It
must have been a strange feeling to have stood on the stage where so
often during her youth she had been one of the audience.
It was whilst the actress was
briefly at Westcliff that Roger Rowland, who she would later marry,
joined the Folkestone company. The
two appeared on stage together for the first time in Pools Paradise
appearance with the Players was in Two For The See-Saw, a two-hander
in which she played opposite Roger.
The actress was already making a name for herself, as indicated
by the quote at the top of the page and the following, all taken from
one of the local newspapers.
leading role (in Simple Spymen) will be taken by Anne Stallybrass, who
joined the Players last year.
of the most promising young actresses to appear with the Brough
company, she has progressed from bit parts to long and exacting roles
such as Jo in A Taste Of Honey and Gittel in Two For The See-Saw
at Leigh-on-Sea, she won a gold medal for Drama at the Royal Academy
of Music. Her ambition is
to extend and broaden her acting experience by playing in Shakespeare.
Anne in her early 20s
For the See-Saw …. an intensely interesting character study, is the
excellent production of the Arthur Brough Players at the Leas Pavilion
this week. ….. the
audience ….. were appreciative of the very fine performances given
by the only two characters in the play, Anne Stallybrass and Roger
play was an unusual one in every way.
Instead of telling a story it gradually unfolded the characters
of the two lovers, drawn together and each seeking something the other
could not give.
Rowland played the young lawyer, disillusioned and feeling that his
career had been only successful through the machinations of his
father-in-law, which led to the break-up of his marriage.
to stand on his own feet he goes to New York, where he seeks
consolation with a warm-hearted but unsuccessful dancer, Anne
turn she needs someone on whom she can depend, but her experiences
with men who “run out” on her have left his mistrustful.
eventual solution of the relationship is sympathetically played in the
taut atmosphere which the two players create, and leave the audience
with a good deal on which to reflect ….
Folkestone & Hythe Herald
16 December 1961
final role with the company was in Simple Spymen which was performed
during the last week of December 1961.
eighteen months with the Arthur Brough Players, Anne then moved north
to join the Nottingham Playhouse.