Theatre Workshop

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Theatre Workshop


an English theatrical company. Theatre Workshop was founded in 1945 as a theater studio by the stage director J. Littlewood and the playwright E. MacColl. It opened with a performance of MacColl’s Johnny Noble. Until 1953 it was a touring theater, staging plays in industrial cities and mining and fishing towns. It made its London debut in 1952 with a performance of MacColl’s Uranium 235. Since 1953 the company has rented the Theatre Royal in the London suburb of Stratford. It presented plays in international theater festivals in 1955, 1956, and in 1963 in Paris. In 1957 it took part in the World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow, presenting Shakespeare’s Macbeth without sets and in modern dress.

The repertoire of Theatre Workshop includes works of classical and contemporary drama, most of them topical in nature. The company opposes the hackneyed repertoire of the commercial theater, defends the high moral content of its own repertoire, and offers tickets at low prices, making the theater accessible to all. As it receives no state subsidy, Theatre Workshop has suffered financial hardships ever since its founding and has disbanded on several occasions.

Until 1961, the artistic director was J. Littlewood, who has since staged several plays for the company. G. Raffles directed the company from 1953 to 1975, and M. Shaw became director in 1975.

Notable productions of Theatre Workshop include Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (1955), Shakespeare’s Richard II (1955), Behan’s The Quare Fellow (1956) and The Hostage (1958), Delaney’s A Taste of Honey (1958), Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour (1960), Chilton’s Oh What a Lovely War! (1963), Garson’s MacBird! (1967), Ingrahams and Wells’ Mrs. Wilson’s Diary (1967), C. Bond’s Judge Jeffeys (1975), and Nickleby and Me, after Dickens (1975).


Sovremennyi angliiskii teatr. [Collection.] Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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