Theatre Workshop

Definition

Theater

  • An experimental left-wing drama group founded in Kendal in1945 by a group of actors dissatisfied with the mainstream theater.From 1953 the Workshop was based at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East,London, with Joan Littlewood as artistic director, GeraldRaffles as general manager, and Ewan McColl (Littlewood's husband)as writer or adapter of many of the group's productions. Theatre Workshopsought to revitalize the British theater with challenging adaptationsof the classics and new works dealing with working-class issues. Manyof these, including Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow (1956)and Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey (1958), later transferredto London's West End. In 1961 Littlewood left the group, disillusionedby the dilution of the radical content of its output as a result ofthe pressure for commercial success. She did, however, return to directthe occasional production, notably the musical Oh, What a LovelyWar! (1963). She eventually left the UK in 1975 to work in France;the Workshop disbanded soon afterwards.
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