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Table Talk, 26 August 1926, p.9
Isabel Handley Isabel Handley i(8500223 works by) (a.k.a. Isobel J. Handley; Isobel Handley)
Gender: Female
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Actress, producer, and playwright.

Isobel Handley was educated at Church of England Girls' Grammar School, from which she will have graduated c. 1909. (Her name appears in the Upper IV class lists in 1907, giving her two remaining years of schooling.)

The earliest of her stage roles to be traced so far was in a performance of J.M. Barrie's Alice, Sit by the Fire with the University Dramatic Club in 1911 (see advertisements in the Argus, 3 May 1911, p.16), but her name also appears in the cast lists for repertory productions in 1911.

She was undertaking significant roles at Melbourne's Repertory Theatre as early as 1916, and was producing plays for them as early as 1924 (when she was a co-producer for Galsworthy's Loyalties).

In the late 1920s, she was involved with Elizabeth Apperly in the Playwriter Theatre, a repertory company devoted to producing works by Australian playwrights (and with a heavy concentration on women writers): many of Handley's plays from this period were written for the Playwriter Theatre.

Her work ceases to be mentioned in newspapers by about 1939, and nothing has so far been traced of her work or life after that date.

Manuscripts for some of her works are held in the Campbell Howard Collection at the University of New England.

Most Referenced Works


  • Handley's name is given as 'Isabel Handley' and 'Isobel Handley' with almost equal degrees of frequency in contemporary newspapers: 'Isabel' is the more frequently used spelling, as well as the spelling that appears in her school years.

    With somewhat less frequency, she is sometimes called 'Isobel J. Handley.'

Last amended 28 Apr 2015 08:43:16
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