Lilian Baylis' Old Vic provided the starting point for the formation of Britain's national ballet, opera and theatre companies and for the careers of stars such as Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, Vivien Leigh, Peggy Ashcroft and Flora Robson. Baylis was one of the greatest pioneers in the history of British Theatre. She came to England from South Africa to help her aunt, Emma Cons, run the Old Vic Theatre in putting on popular temperance concerts for the working class, offering an alternative to the pub. She then took over its management after her aunt's death in 1912.