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It was with deepest sorrow that we learned of the death, on 16th November 1986, of our
good friend at the Bradford Playhouse, Stella Birkett.

Stella joined The Questors in the 1950s when she came to work in London, and even
though she returned to Yorkshire a few years later she was still a Questor when she died,
and continued to visit us regularly over the years - either through her long involvement with
the Little Theatre Guild, or when accompanying one of the Playhouse's guest productions to
Mattock Lane. Although in her seventies, Stella was still active in the Playhouse right up to
her death: always bustling about the Wardrobe or the Kitchen, and dispensing her forthright
advice in a tone of voice that would have put the fear of God even into a squad of Royal

Her greatest contribution, though, was the special relationship she developed with
successive younger generations of Playhouse members - and I have particular reason to be
grateful for Stella's encouragement of young people.

She was loved with genuine affection, and her death robs British amateur theatre of a
remarkable woman.

Ian Briggs.