Evans, Lis (1 of 10) An Oral History of Theatre Design
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
2006-12-04, 2007-03-01, 2007-03-21
New Vic Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
Evans, Lis 1965- (speaker, female)
Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)
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.
Life story interview with Lis Evans (1965-), theatre designer.