Number of items in collection: 340

Short description:

Recordings in this collection can be played by anyone.

The theatre oral histories collected by National Life Stories aim to capture the life stories of those behind the scenes in British theatre - its designers and directors. During the second half of the twentieth century, British theatre designers received unparalleled international acclaim for their work, yet access to information about the profession that realised this success has been limited and theatre designers’ own perspectives have rarely been documented.

Initially consisting of six recordings, An Oral History of British Theatre Design (shelfmark C1173) was expanded to include a further 23 theatre designers as a result of an AHRC-funded PhD project in collaboration with Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London (completed in October 2009). In addition, the collection includes a number of recordings charting the influence of the practitioner and teacher, Richard Negri. The collection uncovers a rich web of otherwise undocumented knowledge and reveals threads of commonality across generations, bringing to light influences and shared values across the period.

The Legacy of the English Stage Company (shelfmark C1316) covers the careers of theatre directors and other theatre practitioners associated at some time with the Royal Court Theatre, London. Interviewees include Stephen Frears, Bill Bryden and Peter Gill.

Oral history recordings provide valuable first-hand testimony of the past.  The views and opinions expressed in oral history interviews are those of the interviewees, who describe events from their own perspective.  The interviews are historical documents and their language, tone and content might in some cases reflect attitudes that could cause offence in today’s society.

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