Profile: Pauline Wattis
Loft credits (click a play title to view details)
- Lady Britomart Undershaft, Major Barbara (1971)
- Ruth Condomine, Blithe Spirit (1969)
- Iris/Mrs Kempton, Little Boxes (1969)
- Judith Bliss, Hay Fever (1964)
- Miriam Morton, The Keep (1964)
- Lady Alice More, A Man for All Seasons (1963)
- Countess Marie Larisch, The Mayerling Affair (1963)
- Denise Darvel, Dear Charles (1962)
- Mrs Sheldon, The Song of the Cuckoo (1962)
- Alithea, The Country Wife (1961)
- Queen Elizabeth, Mary Stuart (1961)
- Jan, Murder Without Crime (1961)
- Eila Cregan, The Flowerin’ of the Grass (1960)
- Auntie Garlyck, New Clothes for the Emperor (1960)
- Lady Chiltern, An Ideal Husband (1959)
- The Good Fairy, The Love of Four Colonels (1959)
- Mrs Levi, The Matchmaker (1959)
- Sheila Broadbent, The Reluctant Debutante (1958)
- Serena/Director, The Long Sunset (1958)
- White Queen/Duchess, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (1958)
- Director, Puss in Boots (1957)
- Mirandolina, Mine Hostess (1956)
- Diana Rimmer, Circle of Love (1956)
- Mrs Erlynne, Lady Windermere’s Fan (1955)
- Aunt Agatha, He Wanted Adventure (1955)
- Lil Fowler, Traveller’s Joy (1954)
- Miss Mandrill, Little Ladyship (1954)
- Vi Vining, The Day’s Mischief (1954)
- Magda Svensen, The Night of January 16th (1954)
- Jennifer, A Lady Mislaid (1953)
- Blanche Mérin, The Sulky Fire (1953)
- Dark Dancer, Hassan (1953)
- Director, Twelfth Night (1952)
- Mrs Geoghegan, The Whiteheaded Boy (1952)
- Birdie Hubbard, The Little Foxes (1952)
- Director, The Bears of Bay-Rum (1951)
- Catherine Winslow, The Winslow Boy (1951)
- Judith Morris, Granite (1951)
- Hermione, The Winter’s Tale (1950)
- Winnie Gilhealy, Mungo’s Mansion (1950)
- Betty Bernick, Pillars of Society (1950)
Pauline Wattis passed away on 24 August 1990. The following tribute was written by David Biddle:
For many who read of her death in the last “Loft News” Pauline Wattis will be remembered as a loyal friend, an outstandingly fine actress and a first-rate teacher.
She was still at school when she first joined the Loft, shortly before she became a member of the Birmingham Repertory Company at the age of 17. In the professional theatre her colleagues included Terry Scott and Alfred Burke and it was a real stroke of good fortune that when she settled eventually in Leamington, she became so actively involved in the Loft.
Pauline was an impressive personality both on and off the stage. There are still many who recall her fine Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, her formidable Queen in Alice in Wonderland (in a production which saw the first Loft fire) and subsequently her appearance at the Town Hall in the Loft production of The Long Sunset.
I first acted with Pauline in the early Sixties in our production of A Man for All Seasons in which she played Sir Thomas More’s wife. Every performance I watched from the wings the gaol scene near the end, genuinely moved to tears by the warmth and sincerity of her playing and that of her partner, Harry Bryan. Again I was lucky to be in a production with her which proved to be her last Loft appearance. In Major Barbara she gave a quite stunning performance as Lady Britomart, an appallingly outspoken matron of the upper class, a character type she played to perfection.
To a young actor like myself in 1962 on joining the Loft she instilled all the correct behaviour expected of a member of the theatre group, for which I shall be eternally grateful. I’m glad too that in recent years she returned to working professionally, creating telling cameo roles in television dramas and commercials.
She died on 24 August aged 64 after a short illness and visiting her the day before was an unforgettable experience. Through the most debilitating illness and most potent medication her wonderfully wicked sense of humour and her remarkable fighting spirit emerged in illuminating flashes. I was truly touched that she asked me to read at her funeral, which was attended by many Loft “stars” of her generation.
I can think of few more fitting than Pauline to receive the slightly amended accolade from Hamlet: “Take her for all in all; we shall not look upon her like again.” She was a lovely personality, full of fun, who will be missed by many, and our sympathy and kind wishes go to her mother, Joan Harrison, so often her inspiration and constant support.