Dunlop, Frank (1 of 4) An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Subjects

    Richard Negri

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  • Interviewees

    Dunlop, Frank 1927- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Frank Dunlop [FD] recalls first meeting Richard Negri [RN] at Old Vic Theatre School [OV], started by Michel St. Denis [MSD], Glen Byam Shaw [GBS] and George Devine [GD]. Description of working with RN in Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester where their newly formed theatre company was set up in venue once used by Joan Littlewood [JL]; mentions assistant designer Dorothy Marshall and regret that Joan Plowright [JP] unable to join company. Anecdote about appearance in magistrate's court. Comments on RN's brief nervous breakdown and his sojourn in a monastery. Remarks on stipulations demanded by Arts Council Grant to company; their production of Goldoni play directed by GD, designed by Jocelyn Herbert [JH]. Mentions RN's marriage to Jill, box office manager. Remarks on choice of " Piccolo" as company name [PTC]; its presence at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and eventual metamorphoses into Young Vic Theatre [YV]. Remarks on RN's alliance with Michael Elliot, founding of Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester [RET]. FD's description of his and RN's shared approach to business of theatre; his reasons for going to OV and role of Patrick Wymark in decision. Mentions design and teaching work sent his way by Margaret (Percy) Harris [MH] and Mamie Watson [MW]. FD's description of OV's ethos; refers to Jacques Copeau director of Vieux Colombier and uncle of MSD; anecdote about Stanislavsky production of " The Cherry Orchard". Comments on role of vaudeville in English, French theatre and influence on FD. Refers to Bernard Cribbins [BC], Jim Dale and Roy Hudd. Comments on working with Sir Laurence Olivier [SLO] at National Theatre. Remarks on how FD and RN received different treatment to that of fellow OV students at graduation; refers to Malcolm Pride. Remarks on closure of YV. Description of powerful influence of Riette Sturge Moore, his sojourn at her home in Well Walk, Hampstead, her familial ties to Adolphe Appia and friendship with W.B. Yeats. FD refers to financial support from some of OV staff.

  • Description

    Interview with Frank Dunlop (1927-), theatre designer, about the life and work of Richard Negri.

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