Person - Len Fox

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LEONARD PHILLIPS FOX (1905 - 2004)

Len Fox was a CPA member 1935-70 and its major book reviewer and critic, and chair of the Realist Writers Group. His second wife Mona Brand was a key member of New Theatre (NT). Len didn’t join, but a number of his scripts were performed by its members.

In 1952 his Stay Down Miner was part of the entertainment staged by Eureka Youth League and NT people in faint light underground at Great Greta protesting against closure of the mine. The performers were smuggled down and, after management go wind of it, taken out via a back way. His Fun and Games, a musical parody of the Olympic Games, was given a rehearsed reading in the Waterside Workers Federation hall in 1960, and Jim’s Secret Weapon, directed by his wife, was one of three Australian one-act plays given a Workshop reading in 1963. Len contributed scripts to the revues You’ve never had it so good 1966 and Exposure 70 1970.

Len had vivid memories of the paranoia of the Left when the Russians were hated more than the Germans. During the banning of the CPA, in June 1940 he was staying with a fellow communist in a run-down house in Glebe where they hid some of their books in the outside dunny. During the night they heard a loud crash and thought it was police smashing in the door but it was the roof collapsing. In the city Len was taking a full case of CPA material to the printer when he saw two plainclothes police running towards him. One of them shouted “Grab him!” This is it, he thought, but they rushed past and into a taxi.

Len Fox in 1943 married Glen Mills; after their divorce he married Mona Brand in 1955. Nephew of artist Emanuel Phillips Fox, Len was skilled at drawing. He has a Wikipedia entry.


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