Gill, Peter (4 of 14).  The legacy of the English Stage Company.

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  • Recording date

    2008-11-10, 2009-02-27, 2009-03-25, 2009-05-17, 2009-09-29, 2009-11-25, 2009-12-10, 2010-01-21, 2010-02-10, 2010-03-05, 2010-03-29

  • Interviewees

    Gill, Peter, 1939- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Devine, Harriet (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: [Noise of construction work in background] PO’T and Lindsay Anderson [LA]; PO’T’s qualities as an actor; PG starting to be interested in directing; LA’s attention to detail. Success of ‘LST’; divided opinions on play at RCT; comments on nature of realism. Understudy rehearsals. PO’T’s absence to go to sister’s wedding. Hell-raising actors; PG as cast pet; his dislike of cast parties. Acting in Sunday night productions at RCT; JD’s production of [Wesker’s] ‘The Kitchen’; work plays. Sunday nights as big events. PG’s career as an actor. JD as a director; his passionate enthusiasm; his background. Other RCT directors. Comments on weekly rep; experience of it of RCT directors and writers; TR’s attitude. Influence on RCT of Berliner Ensemble. Nature of Joan Littlewood and Stratford East [13.09]; Laban’s methods. Granville Barker as unspoken influence on RCT directors. PG’s view of GD; generosity of RCT directors to the young; family feeling. GD not an intellectual; TR’s jokes about MSD and French theatre; GD as father and teacher; GD and women; GD as respectable side of art theatre. Original concept of ESC’s founders; what it became instead; contributions of RCT directors; move away from literary theatre. MSD quote [24:00], comments on MSD. PG as JD’s ASM at old Lyric Hammersmith; Willis Hall plays; nature of theatre; Sean Kenny, designer, his sets; cast including Jill Bennett [JB], and JO’s first wife Pamela Lane. British actresses, leading ladies, and boy ASMs. Comments on JB. PG’s first memories of interviewer [HD]; relationship of HD and PG; HD’s mother Sophie Devine [SD], her house, her hospitality; her fame as a designer; her chic; her favourite colour, PG’s use of it in his bedsit. 9 Lower Mall [LM]; George Goetschius [GG]; his appearance, intellect; his relationship with TR, and with SD. GD’s weekend visits to Lower Mall. HD’s bad relationship with SD. Social life at LM; HD’s LAMDA friends; Sunday lunches; SD’s enjoyment of quietly washing up. Comments on Motley Studio pre-war, and SD’s role there [38:20]. PG moving in to LM, staying for 40 years. PG’s relationship with GG; GG’s qualities. Social life around JD; JD’s penchant for young men; PG’s audition for JD. PG’s friendship with BG; BG’s character, his awkwardness, his ease with women. SD role as central focus, her domesticity, her efficiency. PG’s fascination with SD’s design work, his help with production of ‘Vanity Fair’; her workspace on kitchen table; description of her working; her scent, her nail varnish; her palette, paints and paper. Her 30s chic. Her wit, her kindness; being patronised for it; inspiring devotion.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Peter Gill, theatre director, playwright and actor.

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