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Veteran of the Stage Recalls Early Adelaide

T'HE stage is the biggest gamble on ?*? earth. At least, that is the opinion of Mr. W. H. Ayr. veteran manager of Cole's Vaudeville & Comedy Co., and he ought to know. He has had 40 years of it. Mr. Ayr has put in a couple of pleasant days this week looking up his old friends in Adelaide, and reviving incidents of Adelaide's stage life before the war.

It is nearly 40 years since Mr. Ayr joined up with the Bohemians, run by Mr. E. I. Cole. It was a company of some class then, as Mr. Ayr puts it. He became so popular about the place that he married Mr. Cole's daughter, and the couple have never been parted since. 'Heavy drama was the vogue then,' Mr. Ayr explained. 'I toured Austra lia and New Zealand with Miss Vene Lindon as leading lady. In Adelaide we drew some very fine crowds with plays like Buffalo Bill, The Kelly Gang, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and The Parish Priest. 'Between whiles I was mixed up with concert parties, raising funds for patriotic purposes. I sang the first patriotic song Charlie Vaude wrote. It was the day after war was declared, and I sang it the same night in Ade laide.' Later Mr. Ayr put in four years with Ben and John Fuller on circuit Re cently he has forsaken the boards and tias given his attention to managerial work. His canvas theatre has travelled all over Australia with success. It has just completed three and a half weeks at Broken Hill. 'The stage is the biggest gamble on 2arth,' he said. 'No matter how long Dne has been in the show business one always finds something new to be learnt. (No, he wasn't referring to script) A man's education is never :omplete. But I could not leave the show business.' Mr. Ayre's three children accompany lim on tour. Two take parts in the shows, but the third likes the manage rial side. The sons. Ned and Tom were at school in Adelaide. Mr. and Mrs. E. I. Cole are now liv ng in Sydney. Mrs. Cole was Miss Vene Lindon.