Joan Littlewood

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Joan Littlewood
Maudie Joan Littlewood
BirthplaceStockwell, London, England
Theatre director

Littlewood, Joan


Born 1914 in London. British director and theatrical figure.

Littlewood studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She and E. MacColl founded Theater Union, an amateur troupe that functioned between 1935 and 1939, and Theater Workshop (1945), a professional troupe that toured the cities of Great Britain and Western Europe.

In 1953 the workshop rented space at the Theater Royal in the London suburb of Stratford; Littlewood continues to work there (with hiatuses). Her outstanding productions have included Behan’s The Quare Fellow (1956) and The Hostage (1958), Shakespeare’s Macbeth (in contemporary dress; performed in Moscow, 1957), Delaney’s A Taste of Honey (1958), Chilton’s Oh What a Lovely War! (1963), Garson’s MacBird! (1967), Ingraham and Wells’ Mrs. Wilson’s Diary (1968), and the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (1972) by T. Rice and E. Weber.

Littlewood, an innovative director oriented toward mass audiences, uses sharp satirical generalizations in her productions and struggles against routine commercial theater in Britain.


Soveremennyi angliiskii teatr. Moscow [1963].
Taylor, J. R. Anger and After. London [1963].


References in periodicals archive ?
both by Shaw; Oh What a Lovely War, book by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop, and Charles Chilton; A Christmas Carol, adapted from Dickens by Tim Carroll; The Orchard (After Chekhov) by Sarena Parmar; The Baroness and the Pig by Michael Mackenzie; and Henry V by Shakespeare.
Joan's Book: The Autobiography of Joan Littlewood, 4th Edition
My mum, meanwhile, was part of the original Theatre Workshop with Ewan McColl and Joan Littlewood, and worked on TV through the decades in Coronation Street, Hazel, Family Affairs and Last of the Summer Wine, and is still working to this day at 85.
Lewis was born in East London in 1926 and got his start at the Theatre Royal Stratford East under Joan Littlewood.
He added: "We're setting out play areas for children and an outdoor stage showing movies and doing plays on stage during our summer festival" And he is keen to take advantage of the nationwide "pop-up" Fun Palaces, the two-day celebration of creativity which launched last year to honour the idea of late theatre director Joan Littlewood.
8m caferestaurant, workspaces and public art platform, potentially drawing on the Fun Palace ideas of Joan Littlewood.
The event is also part of the national Fun Palaces weekend programme celebrating the centenary of the birth of legendary theatre director Joan Littlewood.
Of course, there are few women who would fit the series criterion of considering "key works", with the emphasis on the plural, unless the criterion could be extended to include Joan Littlewood.
It was there that she met and trained with Joan Littlewood, an English theater director known as the mother of modern theater, with whom she ended up traveling and working with in Tunis and Paris.
Luscombe ultimately spent the better part of six years in England and Europe, feasting at a groaning board catered by the likes of German playwright Bertolt Brecht, Russian director Konstantin Stanislavski, Hungarian dance master Rudolf von Laban and, perhaps most critically, British director Joan Littlewood.
Others featured are footballer and manager Joe Mercer, Special Operations Executive agent Noorunissa Inayat Khan, Nobel laureate Max Perutz, broadcaster Roy Plomley, writer Joan Littlewood and graphic designer Abram Games.
Middle row left to right: Anita Thomas, unknown, Linda Henderson, Pauline Thorpe, Iris Slater, Linda Smith, Connie Spencer and Joan Littlewood.