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Irene Vanbrugh
Illuminated address 1928

MSS 792.028092 V219i 


Irene Vanbrugh (born Irene Barnes) was an English Actress, most famous for her comedic roles, though she also performed in a number of dramatic roles. She frequently appeared in fundraising shows, raising money for various charities.

In 1890, she became a member of J. L. Toole’s production company for his tour of Australia, before returning to London to join Herbert Beerbohn Tree at the Haymarket Theatre. In 1901, Irene married fellow actor Dion Boucicault Jr. They frequently performed together for the rest of their lives, with Dion becoming her manager in 1915.

Vanbrugh was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1941. After her death at the age of 77 in 1949, the new theatre for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art was named the Vanbrugh Theatre in honour of Irene and her sister, Violet.


1 illuminated address, presented on May 22nd, 1928.

The address bound in dark blue-black leather with gold tooling, the initials IV appear on the front along with ‘Her Majesties Theatre Sydney’.

The inside consists of two pages decorated with hand drawn and coloured borders with flowers and a baby and has been signed by 90 people.

Address created by Smith E. Julius Studios.

The address reads:

"The undersigned wished to express to you our heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation for the very great kindness and generosity which you have shown to Havilah Chuck of England Homes for Children, Wahroonga in giving a Gala Matinee to raised funds to endow a cot in your name.

We are very mindful of the fact that on your previous visit to Sydney you also gave a Gala Matinee which resulted in over one thousand pounds being realised for the Rachel Forster Hospital and Havilah.

The Love and enthusiasm which your kind action has aroused, coupled with the sunshine and happiness which you have brought to a little child for all time, we will hope be some compensation to you for all the time and toil entailed in this Matinee.

In conclusion we wish you and your Husband all the success and happiness you so rightly deserve and hope that the memories of this day will always be as happy to you as they will ever be to us"

Listed by Marie Larsen

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