'Hamlet' was Repertory's first Shakespearean production. Leo Guyatt, who was pre-war Queensland's finest Shakespearean actor, played Hamlet. A young 18 year old named John McCallum played Horatio.
McCallum was born into a theatre family: his father John Neil McCallum Sr. built and ran the original 2,000 seat Cremorne Theatre on the banks of the river in Stanley Street, Brisbane and his mother was an accomplished amatuer actress. After initial theatrical training with Barbara Sisley, his acting career took off in the UK where he met his wife to be, the actress Googie Withers.
From the late 1950 the pair settled in Australia where he became J.C.Williamson's joint managing director alongside Sir Frank Tait. For his services to Australian Performing Arts, John McCallum was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1971 and an Order of Australia in 1992. He died at the age of 91 in 2010.
Writer: Christine Comans