Barbara Kinghorn

Barbara Kinghorn (born 21 November 1944 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a British actress who was a member of the Royal Shakespeare company from 1980 to 1983 playing Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Helen of Troy in Troilus and Cressida. She also played Timmin in the Doctor Who episode The Caves of Androzani. She appeared in Sorry! and Chance in a Million. Her West End appearances included "Fringe Benefits" at the Whitehall Theatre and "Good" at the Aldwych. Barbara married Johannesburg theatre producer/actor Louis Ife.

Barbara's parents Edith and Gordon Kinghorn were well-known performing arts figures in Johannesburg. Gordon was chairman of JODS(Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society) whilst Edith was an industrious speech and drama teacher at various schools throughout the city and its suburbs. Edith regularly produced many varied and popular Gilbert and Sullivan operettas mostly at high-schools to a very high standard. Edith was also a skilled Scottish and Highland dancing teacher. Gordon Kinghorn and JODS staged world-class productions including an acclaimed "The Man of La Mancha" at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. Barbara's sister Elizabeth had an exceptional and sought-after soprano voice.

Barbara's dramatic and dancing skills, she was possessed of a wicked sense of humour and great practical-joker were honed via her love of Highland and Scottish Highland dancing, winning several medals and awards from childhood. The entire Kinghorn family were avid supporters of the Johannesburg Caledonian Society (at its it was the largest Caledonian Society outside of Scotland;regularly frequented by visiting Scottish dancing adjudicators) and were the doyens of the Society. Barbara's book "Miss McKirdy's Daughters will now Dance the Highland Fling" provides her account of a Scottish dancing career, the Kinghorn family's own performing-arts endeavours and her insights into the competitive rivalries between various Scottish dancing studios in the greater Johannesburg.

In 1995 Black Swan published Barbara's autobiography entitled "Miss McKirdy's Daughters will now Dance the Highland Fling" which received excellent notices and it was also printed by St. Martin's Press New York. Miss McKirdy, affectionately as "Aunty" to all spent decades of her life patiently thumping out the repetitive music necessary for the Scottish dancing studios at the piano. She was however also a superb pianist/accompanist she provided the live music for evening Caledonian events such as Burns Nicht and Hogmanay, keeping both young and old dancing for hours. On such occasions she often accompanied a fiddler or accordionist shouting out key-changes above the din. Aunty could effortlessly changes keys, effortlessly sustain strict-tempos and was never seen using sheet music.

Soon after the book's publication Barbara retired from the theatre and now lives in Spain.


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