Allan Wilkie was an Englishman who set up his own company after becoming disillusioned with the established London theatre.
He and his wife Frediswyde Hunter Watts were most famous for their 5 year tour of various Shakespearean plays throughout Australia during the 1920s.
Here is Allan
Here is Allan
and here is Frediswyde
When the letter below was written, January 4 1921, the company had just begun a Shakespeare season in Tasmania. The Hobart Mercury newspaper was very happy about this because the bigger companies tended to avoid little Tasmania. It was an expensive trip. The paper was convinced that the population of Hobart had the intellect to enjoy Shakespeare.
In the letter Allan says that he will return to Tasmania every year with a different repertoire because the reception he received was so 'flattering'.
Allan, his wife and the company stayed in Australia until about the 1930s, but the depression was too much for them and they disbanded. Allan returned to England. He married a third time after Frediswyde died.
He is remembered for his attempts to bring Shakespeare to places that were starved of theatre. Much like today, his plays were seen by school children who were studying the bard and perhaps the tradition of taking Australian pupils to see Shakespeare on stage was started by the Wilkies.
Allan died in 1970 in Scotland.