Pilbrow, Richard (1 of 4) An Oral History of Theatre Design
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Pilbrow, Richard 1933- (speaker, male)
O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)
Part 1: Richard Pilbrow [RP] recalls first production with Richard Negri [RN], "Lady at the Wheel" by Leslie Bricusse, at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith; director Wendy Toye; starring Bernard Cribbins. RP mentions founding "Theatre Projects"[TP]. Works on "Arlecchino" at Lyric. Description of building model theatre with functional miniature lighting equipment by Robert Stanbury. Joins "59 Theatre Company" [59 TC] after successful interview with Michael Eliot [ME] and Caspar Wrede [CW]. Mentions "Danton's Death", designed by Michael Pride. Description of Ibsen's "Brand", director ME, designer RN, translator Michael Meyer, starring Patrick McGoohan. Comments on effectiveness of avalanche and skill of sound designer, David Collison. Recalls close working relationship with ME and RN on "As You Like It " with Vanessa Redgrave; anecdote about conducting meeting in rowing boat. Description of "Richard II" at Old Vic [OV], director Val May with John Justin as Richard. Detailed description of quality of RN's design work. Mentions RN's philosophical approach to Ibsen's "Peer Gynt". Mentions RN's design for OV forestage; anecdote about incident at recent conference in London (architecture and engineering). RP's description of the OV's preoccupation with forestage zone which began with Michael Bentall continuing up to Sean Kenny [SK] at National Theatre [NT]. Detailed description of OV proscenium arch composition, function and aesthetic effectiveness. Comments on first OV season failing to live up to success of first production with Leo McKern; mentions "Merchant of Venice". RP recalls problems associated with running of OV; refers to George Hall [GH]. Further remarks on RN's approach to design. Brief description of RN's flat, domestic arrangements and wife, Jill. (RP mistakes picture of Dylan Thomas on wall of British Library recording room for that of RN).
Interview with Richard Pilbrow (1933-), stage lighting designer and theatre design consultant, about the life and work of Richard Negri.