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Perth theatre legend recognised

Perth theatre legend Ivan King says he’s thrilled to receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to the performing arts as a historian and archivist.

“I am proud that my works have been acknowledged,” the Perth Theatre Trust’s Archivist said.  

“However, my one regret is that my dear mother is not here to share this with me.”

Mr King, who was born in Midland, appeared in plays and musicals throughout Australia and New Zealand before spending two years working in the regional theatres of Great Britain.

He returned to his home town in the 70s to continue a stage career that embraced acting, writing and directing in Perth’s major theatres and theatre-restaurants.

His Majesty’s Theatre has played a significant role in Mr King’s professional career over many years with his first appearance in 1973 in Fat Cat in Double Trouble, while his final appearance at the heritage-listed theatre was in 1989 in the West Australian Opera’s Countess Maritza.

Mr King said one of greatest achievements in his professional career was founding the Museum of Performing Arts (MOPA) at His Majesty’s Theatre in 2001.

“When His Majesty’s Theatre closed for refurbishment in the 1ate 70s, I started to collect materials. That’s when my idea for a museum all started,” he said.

“The collection now has 44,000 catalogued items of theatre memorabilia including costumes, photographs, press clippings, scripts and scores.

“What pleases me most is that I have created something that wasn’t here.”

Perth Theatre Trust Chairman Morgan Solomon congratulated Mr King on being awarded an OAM.

“It’s wonderful to see Ivan’s commitment to MOPA and, indeed, the local theatre sector over many years recognised,” he said.

“It’s a proud moment for Ivan and the Trust sincerely congratulates him.”

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