Harwood, Ronald (15 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 15: Describes various awards including the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for his services to International Pen of which he was president (from 1993-1997, having been president of the English Pen Club from 1989-1993); two brief anecdotes about the Oscar and a meeting with the French Minister of the Interior. Circumstances relating to award from Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences where RH secured more votes than Noam Chomsky; also received award from people of Montenegro for services to Literature and Human Rights. Details of award of Commander of the British Empire [CBE], RH’s feelings about receiving honours, including brief reference to AF. Detailed description of long term involvement in English and International Pen; mentions encouragement of Antonia Fraser, his role on Writers in Prison Committee of both organisations and eventual election in Santiago de Compostela to president of International Pen. Remarks on Congress in Prague, 1994 hosted by President Vaclav Havel [VH]; details of efforts made on his behalf, dedication of play by Tom Stoppard. Anecdote about VH and RH’s 60th birthday celebration, mentions Arthur Miller[AM] and Malawi delegate. Background to changes in International Pen involving RH’s unsuccessful efforts to prevent ousting of the then Secretary General, Alexander Block; RH’s eventual resignation as President. Interviewer mentions letter from 1996 Writers in Prison Committee to Yasir Arafat highlighting the censoring of books by Edward Said. RH remarks on the fairness of the Committee in dealing with cases and the imperviousness of the Chinese at that time. Description of efforts to prevent hanging of Nigerian writer, Ken Sero-Wiwa; positive comments on role of John Major and negative comments on Nelson Mandela’s attempts to influence General Achebe. Anecdote about demonstration outside Nigerian Embassy, Northumberland Avenue, London and delivery of letter with Wole Soyinka [WS]; mentions later meeting former Nigerian Ambassador at house of Sir George and Lady Valerie Solti. Interviewer mentions poem on underground by WS; RH remarks on short-lived fame of Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

  • 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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