Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities: The Official Biography

Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities: The Official Biography

By: Peter Rankin (author)Paperback

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My only gift is to grow a show,' said Joan Littlewood, annoyed by what she had not achieved. Even so, her ability to do just that put her and her company, Theatre Workshop, head and shoulders above mid twentieth-century theatre. In the year when she would have been a hundred, which includes three revivals and a commemorative stamp, Peter Rankin, who worked with Joan for 38 years and in whose flat she died, takes the papers she left him and goes back to the beginning. As she told him: 'You know me better than I know myself.' Drawing on Littlewood's personal archive, Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities observes at close hand one of the most influential theatre makers of the twentieth century.

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About Author

As a teenager, Peter Rankin skipped games to watch rehearsals of Joan Littlewood's Edinburgh Festival production of Henry IV. On leaving school, he assisted her both at Stratford East and in Paris. Her last production was his first play, So You Want to be in Pictures, a satire on film-making. For 21 years, he worked alongside the writer/director Ken Hill, one of Joan's "children" and together, they came up with a series of action/adventure shows, the best known being The Original Phantom of the Opera and The Invisible Man. During that time, Joan came to live in Peter's flat where they worked on two books together, Milady Vine, the biography of the winemaker, Philippe de Rothschild, and Joan's Book, her autobiography. After Joan's death, Peter helped out two old friends, the actor, Victor Spinetti, another of Joan's "children", and the film director, Lewis Gilbert, with their autobiographies. The co-written results were Victor Spinetti, Up Front and All My Flashbacks.

Product Details

  • publication date: 27/10/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781783190843
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9781783190843
  • weight: 544
  • ISBN10: 1783190841

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