Agnes Bernelle

Agnes Bernelle has been performing since 1930 when she made her screen debut at the age of seven. More recent film credits include Still Life 1998, and an RTE documentary about her by John Comiskey I was the little Girl,1993. Having left her native Berlin during the war she performed as a teenager in the Refugee cabarets in London, and had her own radio show for the Overseas Strategic Service, broadcasting coded messages to the allied troops in Germany. After the war she was a prominent name in London’s West End, first as an actress, and later for her one-woman cabaret.

After moving to Ireland she continued to tour and develop her shows, frequently taking part in the Dublin Theatre Festival. She released three albums Bernelle on Brecht &… 1976, Father’s Lying Dead On The Ironing Board 1985, and Mother The Wardrobe Is Full Of Infantrymen in 1989, and won an award for her translations of German songs, many of which were written by her father. She sang on The Radiator’s single Kitty Ricketts also performing with them in London in her own show Black Champagne, and played support to The Virgin Prunes on their UK tour in ’89. Her autobiography, The Fun Palace was published by Lilliput in 1996. She was a founder of Women In Media And Entertainment, and played an active part in Dublin’s cultural life, opening its first boutique, and directing and performing, and even building the toilets, in the then Project Arts Centre. She remained on Project’s board until her death in 1999, and is delighted to return there to open her first posthumous work.