Harwood, Ronald (17 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 17: RH describes background to meeting Ralph Koltai [RK]; mentions working at Ballet Comique for George Kirsta, successor to Colonel de Basil of Ballet Russe; anecdote about searching for stage furniture for production with RK, refers to Christopher Morahan. Comments on post-oscar job offers including possible screenplay of Dashiell Hammett novel. Mentions RH’s first agent Felix de Wolfe [FdW], ( aside to RH’s wife, Natasha). Remarks on Alun Owen [AO], his play “The Last Tram to Lime Street” written for Billie Whitelaw. Further remarks on FdW, mentions literary agent, Gillan Aitken’s recommendation of Judy Daish [JD], former secretary to agent, Jimmy Wax. Remarks on American agent, Jeff Burg [JB], head of International Creative Management [ICM]. RH describes role of his agent JD of JD Associates and Ben Smith and JB of ICM. Refers to Denis Goodwin, agent to Simon Gray, and Margaret Ramsey. Description of RH’s new play “Collaboration” about composer, Richard Strauss to be produced at Chichester Theatre. Comments on RH’s research procedure; description of who owns copyright of screenplays written by RH. Remarks on creative devices used for screenplay for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” [DDB] for Kathy Kennedy; anecdote about insincerity of Johnny Depp and flamboyance of Julian Schnabel. RH’s detailed description of his spiritual journey, his interest in Catholicism, friendship with Gordon Reece [GR], later Sir GR; mentions GR’s “creation” of Margaret Thatcher, his job with Armand Hammer in Los Angeles and his role in introducing RH and his wife, NH, to Father (Dom) Timothy Wright, later Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey, Yorkshire. Remarks on NH’s reception into Catholic Church and friendship with Father (Dom) Dunstan. Anecdote about RH’s friendship with Isaiah Berlin [IB], IB’s funeral according to the Jewish Orthodox rite and RH’s later decision to become member of Upper Berkeley Street Reform Synagogue, London.

  • 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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