Evans, Lis (1 of 10)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2006-12-04, 2007-03-01, 2007-03-21

  • Recording locations

    New Vic Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

  • Interviewees

    Evans, Lis 1965- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Lis Evans [LE], born Cardiff, 1965. Comment that mother is alive; father died ten years ago. Mention that mother, Errol [EE] is an art teacher; father, Wynn [WE] was a pharmacist. [0:00:40] EE’s childhood; move from the Welsh Valleys to Cardiff during the Second World War. EE’s choice of career; doing something practical with art. Story about EE’s move due to her father’s mining accident. [0:02:20] Comments about maternal grandparents, who lived in Cardiff while LE lived in Barry. Description of grandfather’s personality; his practicality; his work as an Education Welfare Officer. Maternal grandparents’ values; influence on LE; description of their house; story about buying hand cream that smelt like their bathroom. Grandfather’s sayings; games LE played at grandparents’ house; the garage; their craft skills. [0:08:46] Description of the items made for LE by her grandparents; being spoilt by them; attitude to homemade things today. [0:12:27] Story about visiting Harrods Christmas Department and copying decorations at home. Mention of visiting museums and galleries whilst in London; Tutankhamun exhibition [0:14:25] Mention of not knowing paternal grandfather; paternal grandmother, who lived in the same town next to WE’s shop; relationship with her. Mention that paternal grandmother was known as Nine; playing with cousins at her house. Description of activities at Nine’s house; treasure hunts. [0:17:50] Mention that paternal grandfather had also been a pharmacist; paternal grandparents’ move from Llanethli. [0:18:18] The significance of the pharmacist’s shop in the community; the public service that WE provided. [0:18:57] WE’s upbringing; having a nanny; holidays in Wales. WE’s schooldays; his interest in theatre. Mention that WE would go to see shows when he was studying to be a pharmacist in London; going to the theatre with him as a child. Pictures of parents as children. [0:22:09] Evacuees at EE’s school during the war; EE’s school friend, Johanna Henna Sibilla Wilhelm; EE’s brother Merion, who was focussed on intellectually. [0:23:23] Story of a game EE and her brother played as children. Comment about EE’s family being poor; trips to Cardiff. [0:24:45] Story of how EE and WE met at an art exhibition she organised. Art made by EE at college; work with puppets after she became a teacher. [0:28:13] WE’s time studying in London; ‘Plays and Players’ magazines from the period. [0:29:05] Description of WE’s pharmacy, an Aneurin Evans chemist shop; classic shop fittings; tube in the dispensary through to grandmother’s house; clock. Sale of the shop to Unichem; feelings about this; artefacts from the shop. Ointments that WE used to make; having almond and witch hazel hand cream analysed by a lab; “Elli Mam” mother’s ointment; tincture of arnica. Further comments about almond and witch hazel hand cream; mention of the Body Shop wanting to buy recipe. [0:35:10] Description of making lotions; skinning almonds; the smells in the shop. Description of how LE helped WE to implement new regulations about labelling medicines. Working in the shop on Sundays; knowing every nook and cranny; Rimmel lipstick dispenser. Description of WE decanting medicine from large brown bottles; counting tablets; changes in the dispensing process. [0:43:31] Description of the “Aunties” who worked in the shop; Christmas parties. [0:46:02] Customers who came to the shop; deliveries to Butlins. WE’s concerns for his customers; preparation that went into getting a locum to cover the shop; service provided to the community; EE’s feelings about this; knowing the local doctors. [0:51:26] How WE resolved his breakdown; LE’s childhood illnesses; story about being prescribed Welsh cakes. [0:54:15] Homemade bunny toy who was made knitted clothes for Christmas. Description of the house that LE grew up in; mention that mother still lives there; the belongings that LE and her brother still have there; how mother spends her time today.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Lis Evans (1965-), theatre designer.

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