The Importance of Being Joan

Joan Littlewood in action.

The theatre you see today is the theatre that Joan Littlewood created 

So said Stanley Reynolds in The Guardian in 1984

I couldn’t agree more. 

From her earliest days Joan’s creative contributions were about exploration and change. Her own creative process was constantly adapted in order to keep any production alive and accessible.

This is according to anybody you speak to (or read about) who actually worked with her. 

Joan broke up the fabric of British Theatre. She, to a certain extent, disorganised it out of it’s old forms and began an internal revolution in the theatre in the way that plays were produced. 

So said Harold Hobson 

This is very true but in my opinion it also doesn’t go far enough. Joan’s influence on every aspect of the theatre process and on every form of theatre changed the way we work and the way in which we receive work. 

Joan re-ordered our responses to the classics

So said Professor Robert Leach during his interview for the documentary ‘In the Company of Joan’
Artwork by Chris Hall for ‘In the Company of Joan’
Available to see for anyone who wants to see it. 

Joan Littlewood most certainly changed the way in which classical work was produced and performed. Her vision opened a door into the world of the classics for working class actors and audiences alike. 

She changed everything. 

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I find myself constantly inspired by the work & legacy of Joan Littlewood. All the best people have an MI5 file!

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