Adele Wagstaff

Adele Wagstaff is an artist and teacher who has been sketching and painting Rehearsal Orchestra in London and Edinburgh for a number of years and whose artwork of RO is for sale to benefit the orchestra. 

Adele studied painting at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and at the Slade School of Fine Art with Norman Norris and Euan Uglow.  Since her graduation from the Slade Adele divides her time between the studio, where she focuses on working from the human figure, portrait and still life and teaching a number of drawing and painting courses. She has taught in Germany, Italy and throughout the UK including West Dean College, Putney School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art.  Adele has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the BP Portrait Award and her work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Discerning Eye, Royal West of England Academy, the Canadian Portrait Academy and continues to exhibit regularly in London and throughout the UK. Her book ‘Still Life Painting in Oils’ was published in 2012 and ‘Painting the Nude in Oils’ early in 2015, both for The Crowood Press. She also contributes regularly to a number of art publications.  Since being shortlisted for the BP Travel Award in 2006, Adele has been making regular visits to Luxor, Egypt where she has continued to work on a series of portraits within a small community on the edge of the town.

You can see more examples from Adele’s portfolio at

Triptych, Edinburgh - Adele Wagstaff

Mary Shillabeer

Mary (1904-1992) sketched and painted Rehearsal Orchestra in Edinburgh for many years and also brought along some of her wonderful puppets for memorable performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Poulenc’s L’Histoire de Babar with the orchestra and narrators.  Mary trained as an artist and illustrator at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and moved to Edinburgh in 1942.  Known largely as an illustrator of children’s books, she started making and manipulating marionettes in her 70s, some of which are now housed in the collection of the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, the Purves Puppets Little Theatre in Biggar, near Edinburgh, and Ian Turbitt Puppets in Glasgow.

As well as original pieces, a number of which are available for sale, images of work by Mary and Adele continue to feature on postcards sold in aid of Rehearsal Orchestra.  A number of Mary’s originals were exhibited in the foyer of the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh during our 50th anniversary summer.  Adele’s work featuring Rehearsal Orchestra was exhibited at St John’s Church, Waterloo, in 2014 and again at Putney School of Art during our 60th anniversary year in May 2017.

Alan Cumberland, Stewart Green, Susan Esterman - Mary Shillabeer and Susan Tomes, piano - Mary Shillabeer