The Ebley Theatre was a wooden shuttered structure with a canvas roof and collapsible, removable seats which was transported from town to town by horse drawn wagons. Ebley’s Theatre visited many parts of Wales. To perform in a town the Ebleys required a license from the local magistrates for which they needed supporting references regarding their moral character.
Performances were often given in aid of a local patron’s chosen charity thus promoting the Theatre owner as being of a charitable disposition. The patron would attend the opening night and be presented with a pure silk handbill advertising the current play.
The collections in the Archives hold a significant amount of materials relating to the arts and entertainment. Information about recreation, in particular the arts and entertainment, can be found within various collections, although there is a stand alone collection relating to theatre.
This collection contains material relating to Swansea Little Theatre c1933-1965; University of Wales Swansea productions; the theatre in London 1825-c1948; provincial theatres 1821-c1980; 'The Portable Theatre' 1880-1949; Dylan Thomas and his association with the theatre 1932-1934; television productions; miscellaneous items undated (c18th century) and 1905-1967. For more information about the collection see the online catalogue.
This collection contains a significant number of items relating to the history of Mumbles Pier within the Swansea and Mumbles Railways Limited section, which included Mumbles Railway and Pier Company Limited. Title deeds, correspondence and other papers detail the development of the Pier and the activities that took place. For a brief history of the pier and South Wales Transport see 'Re-visiting Mumbles Pier' and for more information about the collection see the online catalogue.
This collection contains a wealth of material about life in the South Wales Coalfield including a large number of photographs showing recreational activities, such as choirs, bands and dramatic societies, as well as eisteddfod and miners' galas. The records of various institutes have reference to drama and operatic societies and their performances, such a programme for 'Carmen' by the Ystradgynlais & District Operatic Society in May 1939. For more information about recreation in the South Wales Coalfield see the Coalfield Web Materials.