Gill, Peter (14 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 14: [Session 11, 29 March 2010] Designers PG has worked with. First productions, Sunday nights without décor. Working with John Gunter [JG]; choice of JG. Producing Otway’s ‘Soldier’s Fortune’; wanted sets by Christopher Morley [CM], costumes by JG; PG's aims for this production. Dislike of RSC production of ‘Revenger’s Tragedy’. Only time PG has removed a designer, CM, on grounds of his not understanding his ideas. JG did whole show. Working with JG on DHL plays. Meeting Deirdre Clancy [DC], her illustrations to DHL story and costumes with JG’s sets. Strengths and influence of DC’s work; her originality, similar to Lila di Nobili; her ability as a cutter; her cutting of women’s clothes for play designed by AC. SD’s comment on Oliver Messell’s ability with fabric; similar ability of DC. DC’s adoption, good convent education, her skill in designing for older women. PG’s long association with DC; brown velvet suit made for PG in 1960s; DC’s training as a child; her difficulty in concentration, but her great talent. PG picking a coat out of a rack of identical coats, knowing it was cut by DC. Designers’ love of stock costumes. PG’s willingness to divide clothes and scenery between different designers [16:20]. Emergence of Bill Dudley [BD]; his tiny installations on staircase leading to Theatre Upstairs; BD’s extraordinary talent. Great skill in model making of BD and JG’s generation. BD’s work on DHL plays and on ‘Duchess of Malfi’: early post-modernism; cutting budget, and result on sets; three images which became PG’s influences on design of play; BD’s original designs, and final sets, described; costumes. BD as true original designer; his subsequent work with PG. PG’s meeting with AC; his reduced confidence, or recklessness, in spotting new young designers. PG’s work with JH [25.00]; his admiration of her work for ‘The Changeling’; her set for ‘Julius Caesar’, LA’s worry, PG’s organisation of scene changes. ‘Life Price’ play by Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neill; PG’s desire to direct the play; JH’s designs for the play; JH’s dislike of her own drawing ability. PG’s slight problem with cult of JH because of his loyalty to SD. His admiration for JH; her integrity; her later designs becoming cliched, in use of colour. Her work in workshops of RCT, her resignation over AP’s employment of Audrey Cruddas. Her good looks and chic. Dinner held at NT at time of Motley Exhibition; people sitting at top table: JH, PH, Elizabeth Montgomery, Peggy Ashcroft; outfits of younger people at party, all power dressing; confidence and style of women at top table, their clothes described; an artistic, Bloomsbury statement against 80s power-dressing. Lady designers, taste and shabbiness; SD’s ability to look smart; her silk black shoes. Mary Ure’s ability to look instantly glamorous. PG’s socialising with JH, visits to her homes; his last meeting with her, at Holland Park house dinner party for Merce Cunningham. JH’s lack of real humour, talent as a designer, and ability to work with men. Technical rehearsal for David Storey play at NT; JH with whiskey in hand; bohemian atmosphere; Lady Richardson quoting Browning. SD’s admiration for paintings of Anthony Lousada.

  • Description

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

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