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Margery Mason

Margery Mason pictured on her 100th birthday

In a diverse career that combined acting, writing and theatre management, Margery Mason made acclaimed appearances in television and film, toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company and ran her own theatre company in Northern Ireland.

As a youngster, she learned a good deal about stagecraft from her parents, who ran a semi-professional dramatic company. She appeared in the company’s productions that were frequently staged at working men’s clubs in the East End of London.

Her father also ran an early cinema, the Hackney Bioscope, as well as issuing weekly film reviews to other independent picture-houses. Mason saw many new films and wrote reviews for her father.

During the Second World War, she appeared in rep and travelled to the Middle East and the Far East with the Entertainments National Service Association, the organisation set up to entertain British troops overseas. After the war, she returned to rep and wrote her first play, And Use of Kitchen, all about bedsit life in London.

From the 1950s to the early 1960s, she managed theatres and later worked as the artistic director of the repertory theatre in Bangor, County Down. She then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, taking part in tours as well as appearing at Stratford-upon-Avon.

On television, Mason starred alongside Judi Dench, Michael Bryant and Maurice Denham in John Hopkins’ four-part BBC drama Talking to a Stranger (1966-67). She was also seen in the Granada Television series A Family at War (1970-71).

On the big screen, she had cameo roles in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually (2003) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).

For many years, she was a member of the Communist Party, but resigned in protest at the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968.

Margery Mason was born on September 27, 1913. She died on January 26, aged 100.

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