17. Marjorie Dence MBE

Marjorie Lillian Dence MBE, born in 1901, was the first woman to lead a theatre company in Scotland when she created Perth Repertory Company with her co-founder and business partner David Steuart.

Marjorie, who met David at a local dramatic society during her time at university in London, was appointed manager of Perth Theatre by her father after he bought it at her suggestion.

After refurbishing, they opened with ‘The Rose Without a Thorn’ in 1935 and continued to entertain and lift the spirits of local people during WWII, with the cast and staff living at the theatre.

Marjorie became a Justice of the Peace and in 1952 she was awarded an MBE for her achievements. She was busy planning the theatre’s opening of their 32nd season when she died in 1966.

Under the terms of her will, the theatre was offered to the city of Perth for the fixed price of £5,000.