Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW, Regno Unito
University Of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2, Regno Unito
George Humphrey Wolferstan Rylands CH CBE (23 October 1902 – 16 January 1999), known as Dadie Rylands, was a British literary scholar and theatre director.
Rylands was born at the Down House, Tockington, Gloucestershire, to Thomas Kirkland Rylands, a land agent, and Bertha Nisbet Wolferstan (née Thomas). His grandfather was the Liberal politician Peter Rylands. Educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, he was a Fellow of King's from 1927 until his death. While at Cambridge, he became a friend of John Maynard Keynes, also a student and Fellow at King’s.
The Marlowe Society was founded in 1907. Many of their plays were directed by Kingsmen, including Rupert Brooke (KC 1906, poet), Frank Birch (KC 1909, cryptographer), Donald Beves (KC 1909, Vice Provost), John Tresidder Sheppard (KC 1900; Provost) and George Humphrey Wolferstan ‘Dadie’ Rylands (KC 1921, Shakespeare scholar). In 1924 he played the Duchess of Malfi.
The latter was by far the most prolific, directing performances between 1929 and the 1960s. He was invited to come up to King’s in 1921 by Provost J.T. Sheppard and after changing subject from classics to English he became a student of FL Lucas. In 1929, Rylands directed the Marlowe Society’s performance of King Lear.
As well as studying Shakespeare, he was actively involved in the theatre. He directed and acted in many productions for The Marlowe Society, and was chairman of the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 1946 to 1982.
Rylands' 1939 Shakespeare anthology Ages of Man was the basis of John Gielgud's one-man show of the same title. Though Rylands specialised in directing university productions at Cambridge, he also directed Gielgud in professional productions of The Duchess of Malfi and Hamlet in London in 1945.
He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1961 and a Companion of Honour (CH) in 1987.
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