Howard, Pamela (1 of 11)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2006-06-26, 2006-07-13, 2006-08-09, 2006-08-14

  • Recording locations

    Various locations, London

  • Interviewees

    Howard, Pamela 1939- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Pamela Howard [PH], born Birmingham, 5 January 1939. Story about being born in Birmingham. Comment about not knowing father until after his return from the Second World War; his role in the army; living with Mother’s family in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Father’s change of name from Joseph Hoffman to Howard after the war; story about the method for choosing this name. Mother’s maiden name Gatoff; origins of mother’s family. Mother’s first name, Anne. Story about the origins of father’s parents from the town of Dvinsk, near Riga in Latvia. Mention of other famous individuals with origins in Dvinsk; Mark Rothko; Peter Brook; Coco the Clown. Story about father’s upbringing in an orphanage. Reasons behind the decision for father’s family to emigrate. [0:04:24] Themes relating to immigrant background that can be seen throughout PH’s work. Example of such themes in the opera, ‘The Greek Passion’ [GP], composed by Martinu, libretto by Kazantzakis, designed and directed by PH in 2005. Story about the meeting of Martinu and Kazantzakis in Antibes, France. Description of PH’s role in the translation of GP from English to Greek; staging the premier in Greece. [0:10:18] Story about PH’s sisters tracing father’s sister. Description of father’s family. Mention of father’s attendance at Central Foundation School [CFS] in the East End of London; scholarship to Downing College, Cambridge that he was unable to accept. Achievements in father’s life; difficulties for PH’s parents in continuing their life together after the war. [0:15: 51] Father’s feelings about life in the Norwood Jewish Orphanage [NJO]. Description of how boys were brought up at NJO. Mention of the orphanage today, now called Norwood Ravenswood. Description of what father learnt at NJO. Story about father making leather goods whilst in Egypt during the war.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Pamela Howard (1939-), theatre designer.

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