1923-1999; b. Berlin [fam. Aggie; née Bernauer]; dg. of a Jewish impresario associated
with Kurt Weil, from whom she inherited the Weil musical rights; moved with family to London,
1936; broadcast into Germany from Blenchley as Vicky; m. Desmond Leslie, then an RAF-pilot, later moving to
Glaslough with him, 1969; with him a son, Mark; separated from Leslie; settled with
Maurice James Craig, architectural historian, living at Strand Rd., Dublin; launched a one-woman cabaret based on Weil and
Brecht at Peter Cooks Establishment, Soho; performed at Project Arts Theatre and participated in Dublin's cultural revival of the 1970s and 1980s; issued an autobiography as The Fun Palace: An
Autobiography (1995) [var. 1996], recounting her experiences up to her arrival
in Ireland; suffered from brain tumour and courageously recovered; made moving
autobiographical ;programme for RT, broadcast in 1998, with songs; died.
Feb. 1999; bur. Glasnevin Cemetary, 19 Feb. 1999.
The Fun Palace (Lilliput 1995), 256pp. 16 ill., with summary details
incl., cabaret in Barcelona; summer in Cannes, received affections
of Claus von Bulow and King Farouk, inter al.; shocked some by appearing as a non-stationary
nude Salomé in the London production, 1956; one-woman cabaret based on Weil and
Brecht at Peter Cooks Establishment, Soho; three-week run in West
End; moved to Glaslough, Ireland [Lilliput Catalogue, 1995]. Reviewed
in Books Ireland (March 1997).
When is a person not a person? [headline]: Agnes Birnelle appears
as bedridden woman in 15-min. Still Life, written and directed
by Michael Hewitt at Cork Film, Festival (see Irish Times,
7 Nov. 1998).
Auf Wiedersehen: burial at Glasnevin, Dublin 14 preceeded by a service at Star of the Sea Church, Sandymount
which looked like a theatre programme, acc. Irish Times report (20 Feb. 1999). In the course if the service Mary Coughlan sang
Isla, Anne Bushnell sang Edith Piaf's Je Ne Regrette Rien,
and Gavin Friday sang verses from Mack the Knife while David Norris and
Andrew Carpenter read Lament for Imogen from Cymbeline. Also present were Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach), Ruardri Quinn, leading
of the Labour Party, and Ben Briscoe (former Mayor of Dublin).