Harwood, Ronald (12 of 18)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2005-10-27, 2007-05-16, 2007-05-17, 2007-05-18, 2007-06-12

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Chelsea

  • Interviewees

    Harwood, Ronald 1934- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 12: RH comments on his chain smoking, also on recent excellent annual medical report. Comments on motivation for writing, refers to HP and Alun Owen [AO]. Comments on first real financial success in 1980s with “The Dresser”; his unwillingness to analyse self and NH’s great faith. RH’s reluctance to write for theatre during 1960s; comments on English class system, The Royal Court Theatre and critics’ need for anti –authoritarian plays. RH’s eventual return to theatre in 1970s with plays for Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester [REM] with ME and CW. Comments on RH’s own writing technique – importance of telling the story; detailed quote from E M Forster. Refers to Sir Walter Scott and Harold Robbins. Description of RH’s early work including “The Barber of Stanford Hill” filmed for British Lion and “Private Potter”for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM]. Description of working on Italian screenplays in Italy with Mario Monocelli, Valerio Zerlina and Suzocecchi D’Amico in 1960s. Remarks on coping with early financial insecurity. Description of three children, Anthony, [AnH], Deborah [DH] and Alexandra [AlH]; details of their birth and early education (mentions Froebel Institute, Roehampton, now Ibstock). Also move to Liss, Hampshire and their day attendance at Bedales. Remarks on AlH’s experience of bullying, her musical career, including Royal College of Music, Juilliard School, New York and teaching at St. Paul’s Boys, London. Refers to AnH work as Literary Agent and DH’s early career in this field and recent pursuit of degree in Textile Art and Winchester University. ( RH remarks on building worker). Comment on RH’s fulfilled marriage and AnH’s speech at recent 70th birthday celebration. Remarks on influence of Rebecca West and GG; also admiration for Evelyn Waugh. Comments on fascination of certain subject matter, including Performance, the Holocaust, Apartheid. Refers to first novel “All the Same Shadows” and positive review by Muriel Spark. Mentions “Taking Sides” about conductor Furtwangler. Quotes from Chekhov. Remarks on representation of women in own work, including “Another Time” with Janet Suzman and Albert Finney [AF] at Wyndham’s theatre; mentions run in Chicago at Steppenwolf theatre. Remarks on central tenet of this play. [Tape 7 Sides A-B closed until September 2042]

  • Description

    Interview with Ronald Harwood (1934-), theatre designer. Parts 1-4 comprise an interview about the life and work of Richard Negri, as recalled by Ronald Harwood. Parts 5-18 comprise Ronald Harwood's life story.

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