First Night Design | For My Mother | Mothering Sunday


Mother’s Day in the UK is this Sunday, while tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This is a post I wrote in 2014 which some of you have seen before.

First Night Design

Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000 [photo: David Sim] Born Benedicta Hoskyns in 1922, my mother spent a large part of her childhood on the island of Malta where her father was serving in the Rifle Brigade.

She later spent a year drawing from life at Salisbury School of Art. During World War II, she nursed with the Red Cross in Auxiliary Hospitals and Convalescent Homes throughout the country, also finding time to write, produce and play in several revues for her patients.

The war over, she trained for the stage at RADA where she received commendations from Sybil Thorndike and Laurence Irving and won the George Arliss prize as well as sharing the Dialect prize with Cyril Shaps.

Her subsequent career included repertory at Windsor, Bromley, Sheffield, Coventry and Nottingham, No Other Verdict at the Duchess Theatre in the West End (“stealing all the notices as the maid” she would tell me…

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20 thoughts on “First Night Design | For My Mother | Mothering Sunday

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy. I’m glad it touched you. Benedicta would have been delighted to see just how much more open we are about mental illness but I worry about going backwards in the current climate as ‘hate crime’ is on the increase and such governments as we have encouraged such behaviour by their stigmatisation.

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  1. I just checked, and I wasn’t around for the original, at least not on here. I have seen the old photo before, and was interested to see the 1991 photo, with the similarity between you and your mother.
    A lovely tribute, which I have no doubt she would appreciate.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dah-ling, I ordered and read your mother’s memoirs a couple of months ago. I found her writing engaging – like what I’ve read of yours – and it was hard to put the book down. I read it almost all in one sitting!

    Since reading the book, my admiration for you has grown. I think you are truly remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

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