James Bridie

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James Bridie in 1913 James Bridie 005.jpg
James Bridie in 1913

James Bridie (3 January 1888 in Glasgow 29 January 1951 in Edinburgh) was the pseudonym of the renowned Scottish playwright, screenwriter and physician whose real name was Osborne Henry Mavor. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] He took his pen-name from his paternal grandfather's first name and his grandmother's maiden name. [5]

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth most visited city in the UK.

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

A pseudonym or alias is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which can differ from their first or true name (orthonym). The term is not used when a new name entirely replaces an individual's own.


Mavor went to school at Glasgow Academy and then studied medicine at the University of Glasgow graduating in 1913 [6] , later becoming a general practitioner, then consultant physician and professor after serving as military doctor during World War I, seeing service in France and Mesopotamia. [7] His comedic plays saw success in London, and he became a full-time writer in 1938. He returned to the army during World War II, again serving as a doctor. [1]

University of Glasgow university located in Glasgow, Scotland, founded in 1451

The University of Glasgow is a public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded by papal bull in 1451, it is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Along with the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and St Andrews, the university was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, the Seminal Catastrophe, and initially in North America as the European War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

James Bridie was the founder of the Citizens Theatre [8] [9] in Glasgow, in association with joint founders art director Dr Tom Honeyman and cinema magnate George Singleton, who also created the Cosmo, predecessor of today`s Glasgow Film Theatre.

Citizens Theatre theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The Citizens Theatre, in what was the Royal Princess's Theatre, is the creation of James Bridie and is based in Glasgow, Scotland as a principal producing theatre. The theatre includes a 500-seat Main Auditorium, and two studio theatres, the Circle Studio and the Stalls Studio.

Tom Honeyman British curator

Thomas John Honeyman was a Scottish curator who was the director of the Glasgow Art Gallery.

Glasgow Film Theatre cinema in Glasgow, Scotland

The Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) is an independent cinema in the city centre of Glasgow. GFT is a registered charity. It occupies a purpose-built cinema building, first opened in 1939, and now protected as a category B listed building.

James Bridie was the first chairman of the Arts Council in Scotland and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Edinburgh Festival. [5] In 1950 he founded the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art, part of the Royal Conservatoire today.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland conservatoire of music, drama, and dance in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a conservatoire of dance, drama, music, production and film in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.

Bridie worked with the director Alfred Hitchcock in the late 1940s. They worked together on:

Alfred Hitchcock British filmmaker

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential and extensively studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965). His films garnered a total of 46 Oscar nominations and six wins.

<i>The Paradine Case</i> 1947 American courtroom drama film, set in England directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Paradine Case is a 1947 American film noir courtroom drama film, set in England, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by Selznick and an uncredited Ben Hecht, from an adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie of the novel by Robert Smythe Hichens. The film stars Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Alida Valli, Charles Laughton, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore and Louis Jourdan. It tells of an English barrister who falls in love with a woman who is accused of murder, and how it affects his relationship with his wife.

Ben Hecht American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist

Ben Hecht was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist, and novelist. A journalist in his youth, he went on to write 35 books and some of the most entertaining screenplays and plays in America. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some seventy films.

David O. Selznick American film producer

David O. Selznick was an American film producer, screenwriter and film studio executive. He is best known for producing Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940), each earning him an Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 1923, he married Rona Locke Bremner (1897–1985). Their son was killed in World War II. [1] His other son Ronald (1925–2007) was also both a physician and playwright. [10] Ronald became drama critic of The Scotsman after retiring from medicine, Director of the Scottish Arts Council and Deputy Chairman of the Edinburgh Festival. [5] He was Professor of Drama and Head of the Drama Department at the University of Saskatchewan and was appointed C.B.E. in 1971. [5]

James Bridie died in Edinburgh of a stroke and is buried in Glasgow Western Necropolis. [5] The Bridie Library at the Glasgow University Union is named after him, as is the annual Bridie Dinner that takes place in the Union each December. [11] Actress Freya Mavor is his great-granddaughter



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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Daniel Leary (1982) Dictionary of Literary Biography: Modern British Dramatists 1900-1945, Stanley Weintraub Ed., Gale, Detroit ISBN   0-8103-0937-8
  2. Terence Tobin (1980) James Bridie (Osborne Henry Mavor), Twayne Publishers, Boston ISBN   978-0805767865
  3. Winifred Bannister (1955) James Bridie and His Theatre: a study of James Bridie's personality, his stage plays, and his work for the foundation of a Scottish national theatre, Rockliff
  4. Helen L. Luyben (1965) James Bridie: Clown and Philosopher, University of Pennsylvania Press
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ronald Mavor (1988) Dr. Mavor and Mr. Bridie: Memories of James Bridie, Canongate and The National Library of Scotland ISBN   978-0862411985
  6. https://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH0204&type=P
  7. "Captain Osborne Henry Mavor". Glasgow University. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  8. http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Glasgow/Citizens.htm
  9. https://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSA00277&t=2
  10. Helensburgh Heroes
  11. "James Bridie Memorial. University Ceremonies". The Glasgow Herald. 21 November 1955. p. 6. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  12. Kenneth Hardacre (1960) James Bridie's "Tobias and the Angel" (Chosen Eng. Texts Notes), Andrew Brodie Publications, London – Study Guide for students of the play
  13. Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. (1940) Library of Congress
  14. "Glasgow First Night of Bridie's "Best Play"". The Glasgow Herald. 31 October 1945. p. 5. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  15. Billboard Vol.62, No.39 (Sep 30, 1950)
  16. "Bridie Play Premier". The Glasgow Herald. 10 February 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  17. "Bridie Wit and Philosophy Among the Gods". The Glasgow Herald. 22 August 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 5 May 2018.