Roland Rees Topics List

Roland Rees Topics List taken from his interviews with Susan Croft on 10th December 2009,
11th January 2010 and 5th April 2011. Recording and audio extract by Jessica Higgs.

You will find that some of the recording is accompanied by a gentle ‘drumming’ sound which is the result of Roland living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Personal background
Father Welsh & trained as lawyer, barrister, Mother from Norfolk
Families didn’t get on with each other
Born 1941, at beginning of war, few miles outside Cardiff
Could hear bombs dropping every night on Cardiff harbour [the docks]
Father worked at Lincoln’s Inn, London, only around at weekends, brother born 6 years later
Father already in late 40s when RR born, Mother 10 years younger
Their age  created problems, especially for younger brother
Father fought in WW1 in Gallipoli, had memories of climbing over dead bodies
Age differences of parents and children only occurred to RR later and the effect it had on them growing up
Sent away to school at age of 7, to Wellesley House in Kent, by the sea, ran into problems with Headmaster
Prince Richard of Kent [Prince Richard of Gloucester not Kent] was at school
Keen on cricket and sport which were good outlet at these schools
Father put him down for Eton and Mother persuaded him not to, sent to Charterhouse instead which was very different to somewhere like Eton [Charterhouse differed from Eton in that the students there tended to be children of business people and often the first from their families to attend a public school, whereas Etonians were children of aristocratic families who had been sending their children there for generations]
On last day at school, house master, Mr Fletcher, called RR into his office, told RR that he was the most unsuccessful student he had ever had in his life

Charterhouse and University
RR used to listen to jazz on records at night as he was a prefect and was allowed to use a hall where there was a gramophone
Started a school magazine encouraging others to write short stories for it, gave talks on jazz, played drums in his room
The school padre [chaplain] was very young and loved jazz too, students persuaded him to take them to concerts in London, and that’s how RR first heard Louis Armstrong
School organised so that movement outside the school was restricted
You couldn’t cross a railway line, which meant you could only go into countryside
Everyone was trained with guns and marching as soldiers
The man who trained them [a teacher] was a Captain Hanover from Germany
RR managed to get out of this training
Older boys were given tasks such as being given 24 hours to see how far they could get away from school in that time to demonstrate their resourcefulness and ingenuity. some got to Paris
RR had a friend at school, called Paul Stratherne who influenced him a lot, especially as he was interested in French literature, introduced him to Albert Camus and Sartre
When he got to university the plays the students did at the student’s drama festival came from that source – Max Frisch, Dürrenmatt, Sartre
RR hadn’t tapped into UK writers of the time
Went to University College Wales in Aberystwyth
Did 2 years prep for A levels, history, had a bad teacher in first year, lost interest, came bottom of class. In 2nd year he did better with younger teachers and came 6th from top
Too late to apply for Cambridge but successfully get into University College Wales
Studied American history in particular
Immediately started working with theatre group at university
Had done some acting at Charterhouse – Ibsen [Peer Gynt]
Quite a reasonably thriving drama society at university

University of Aberystwyth continued
RR ran a parallel life to other people at school and university
He was about only boy there from his background, all students were local and knew each other, working class students, a lot who’d been in army (30-35 yrs), National Service
RR started a magazine & a cabaret club which opened same night as That Was The Week That Was
Had a guy [Handel Davis] with one eye and hat over side of head who used smoke and stood in front of the mike doing a rap about being Welsh [made fun of the Welsh Nationalists trying to set off bombs in some dams in mid Wales], after year and half bumped RR into Handel Davis and asked him to contribute to a new cabaret RR was doing but he said he’d found God and wouldn’t do anymore stand up
Jazz trio with Deian Hopkin [Vice- Chancellor & Chief Exec London South Bank University 2001 – 2009], good pianist
Cabaret performed in basement of hotel with rugby guys on door, tickets were sold in the library, very popular, had room for 70, could have taken in 150, given queues
Ran Drama Society for two years, the English side
One year the NUS [National Union of Students] festival was held in Aberystwyth [Each year the NUS festival was held at a different venue.  RR entered a production of Sartre’s The Condemned of Altona which he directed]
One of the shows was from Oxford. Michael Rudman & David Aukin (DA) were in the cast
Directing for drama society, began thinking it could be future

Studying in the New York
Specialised in American Civil War and the years after
Was interested in Marcus Garvey (MG)
Got ‘State Studentship’ to study MG at Columbia New York but never completed it as he changed direction to his commitment to theatre
Used to go up to Lennox Street library where MG papers were (this was the year after 1964 riots) and got away with it because he was known as ‘The Welsh Boy’ [Harlem was a dangerous place for a white person to go alone in those days]
Changed his focus to theatre
Went over by boat as it was the cheapest way to travel, roughest crossing in his life, story of meeting actress/ singer Georgia Brown in First Class bar
He’d taken books on socialism with him, was collected by friends from Riverside Drive, and held up in customs because of his books – it hadn’t occurred to him this might be a problem

New York theatre influences
Attached to library in Harlem but soon absconded and was into jazz in East Village
Saw a lot at La Mama [established and run by Ellen Stewart] & his greatest hero Joe Chaikin (JC) at the Open Theatre
RR was interested in the form of JC’s work and the way he got actors to play a number of different parts almost at the same time, with a number of different plots going on
Ellen Stewart at La Mama for the most part did plays, albeit unusual ones
RR did Rochelle Owens [who was with La Mama at time] plays when he returned to London
JC may have ended up with a script of some sort or other but started with physical devising work with actors which RR hadn’t come across before
He was there in 1965 – 67, theatre was being performed everywhere except in theatres, in all sorts of buildings, churches
First year he came over, was seeing things he hadn’t seen before, second year he got involved with the women’s college within Columbia, Barnard College, doing a lot of shows there
The man who ran the drama there was from Dorset
Did Brecht for him, was allowed to work with 2 or 3 professional actors and the rest had to be course students
Also directed some shows in Riverside church, Riverside Drive, where they had some money to do 3 or 4 professional productions a year
Did James Saunders’s Next Time I’ll Sing to You with American actors

Accommodation, Vietnam, early African-American theatre + Scholarship continued
Lived at Riverside Drive in students hall, then across road with 2 Americans – one Vietnam vet & the other an actor, finally south of Brooklyn Heights Vietnam had impact on arts scene
JC did a show about the war, a meld of living in the States and fighting in Vietnam, both things going on at same time in the action, which RR loved
On RR’s return to UK one of the first shows he did in 1970s was Black Pieces by Mustapha Matura which was composed of 6 short plays
RR used JC’s methods of melding the pieces together as well as he could
Ed Bullins’s play that RR brought back was on in Harlem [performed by Black Arts Rep and the Negro Ensemble companies]
RR met him and asked him for copies of his plays which weren’t published at the time
Bullins happy to do so as RR didn’t have the baggage of being American [that might have prohibited Ed Bullins from giving RR his script] –The Electronic Nigger was one

Income and first marriage
RR survived on remainder of studentship + a little tutoring to get extra money to go to theatre
Directed shows at Barnard and Columbia itself
Lost touch with parents, got married in New York
First wife [Alene Strausberg] was American-Jewish, now lives in Islington [Archway]
Opened up a whole new world to him, he realises now that the House he was in at Charterhouse was full of Jewish kids and that he was the odd one out there
Parents didn’t come to wedding, Father a lot older then and RR had become a failure in his father’s eyes because he hadn’t followed him into law by choosing to study history and was doing other unacceptable things in NY
Alene Strausberg’s parents came over to the UK and met his parents but it was an impossible situation, RR’s parents had never met people from different backgrounds to themselves before
Story of cadging a lift home from some African fellow students [anecdote from RR’s early student days at Aberystwyth], inviting them to meet his parents, one of them lending  RR £5 and ramifications that followed when the African students realised what a wealthy, middle class background RR came from

London, Inter-Action (Ed Berman) and Foco Novo
Came back [1967] married
Alene Strausberg keen to get herself out of hands of parents – very wealthy, lived on Central Park West, above Barbra Streisand, Father had inherited out-of-town cinemas, wanted to rid herself of their expectations
Moved to London, less frenetic than New York
Americans who moved to London to avoid war, found jobs in US plays in London
Big influential people like: Charles Marowitz at the Open Space, Ed Berman , who RR worked with at Inter-Action, Nancy Meckler, Beth Porter, Jim Haynes – these were Americans practising what they’d been doing in NY, in London
They were huge influence- they were It
Ed Berman had been a Rhodes scholar, been in Turkey moving valuable antique pots to NY, making his money that way
He was beaten up and suffered back problem for rest of life
Came to London and vowed to do something ‘worthwhile’ with his life
Started Inter-Action but really was interested in getting his plays on
Started Ambiance Lunchtime Theatre [originally with Theatrescope, previously based at  Little Theatre St Martin’s Lane]
The first Ambiance of several Ambiance [venues] was run by the son of a Guyanese diplomat [Junior Telfer]
He ran the Ambiance café [Bayswater] and downstairs he had a club
They’d clear away music instruments to create space for plays
Ed Berman was interested in Ed Bullin’s plays because he was interested in bringing US work over to London
RR did his first work for Ed Berman and is very grateful to him for it

Black theatre and artists in Britain in 1970s,
‘Black and White Power Season’ at the Almost Free [Ambiance at ICA]
There were more Black actors coming through
Barry Reckord – Diana Athill looked after BR for the last 40 years of his life – presented this year’s Alfred Fagon  award [2010]
Ed Berman said, ‘We’re going to do a ‘Black and White Power season’ – ensuing story of how season involved only American playwrights, no indigenous British ones
They did Chiaroscuro by Israel Horowitz [about a family of Whites who woke up one day to find they were Black] and a couple of Ed Berman’s plays
From doing The Electronic Nigger and Ed Berman plays at the Ambiance RR had become great friends with Stefan Kalipha
RR asked Stefan Kalipha to help him find a Caribbean playwright
He brought in a factory worker one day with some hand- written fragments of scripts: Mustapha Matura, still had on khaki coat from working in factory
No pagination on script, which was written in patois
RR recognised immediately that this was someone who could really write
They squashed together his 6 plays, some only a page long, into a 50 minute play
In the cast were: Oscar James, Stefan Kalipho, T-Bone Wilson and Alfred Fagon
This inspired Alfred Fagon to write 11 Josephine House, produced not long after
Mustapha Matura came over to Britain from Trinidad same time as Stefan Kalipha in the late 50s early 60s
Alfred Fagon came over from Jamaica same time
Barry Reckord wrote about characters who were nearly all born here: Skyvers was his famous play
Mustapha Matura had characters who moved here from Caribbean like himself  and spoke in patois
Black actors in Black Pieces were so excited by being given these words to say, although Alfred Fagon thought the English audiences wouldn’t accept patois
Alfred Fagon was only Jamaican in cast of Trinidadians, T-Bone Wilson was from Guyana and Oscar James from Trinidad
Audience for Black and White Power Season was not Black people
Short 10 minutes monologue on before Black Pieces about a white farmer in then Rhodesia was guarding his porch with a rifle, ended with an African rising from the bush and shooting him
Oscar James was given task of shooting, story of firing guns and firing blanks at white farmer from audience

Foco Novo
RR tutoring to earn keep, working at Gloucester Road tutoring alongside Ann MacFerran [married to Snoo Wilson] who became a Time Out theatre critic
He lived in a flat in St John’s Wood, Maida Vale where the office for Foco Novo came into being
RR knew Pam Gems, husband [Keith Gems] had a waxworks factory who put money into a pantomime of Pam Gems at the Cockpit, Betty’s Wonderful Christmas
Black and White Power Season was Inter-Action Ambiance at the ICA
Inter-Action moved around to different places
Had base in Kentish Town but no theatre
Reason Ed Berman set up theatre was so that it would earn prestige and money for the organisation separately
Actually was a platform for his plays in each season whatever it was, Nudist Campers Grow and Grow was one of his
The Other Company [TOC] led by Naftali Yavin, a very worthwhile project
Fun Art Bus – done by people committed to Inter-Action and lived at Inter-Action space
Used to rehearse in fire station that leaked and a lot of the action was determined by where the leaks were or weren’t!
Oscar James was a taxi driver
The fire station was in Kentish Town
Roxy [first home of Foco Novo] was in Gospel Oak
Inter-Action was at 156 Malden Road and a place opposite Round House early on, borrowed from another American
Concert given at Roundhouse in aid of two writers, Obi Egbuna and Wole Soyinka
Organised by Michael X and Darcus Howe
Very successful concert, story of Michael X bringing Sammy Davis Junior to Roundhouse from the Dorchester where he was staying
Others in concert – Stefan Kalipha and Maggie Nolan did a show from Ambiance [short play by Ed Bullins, Minor Piece], poetry reading
More interval than actual performances, space was full
Event had no rehearsal at all
Thelma Holt had got Roundhouse going
[Sheelagh Killeen saw at Roundhouse – Le Grande Magic Circus, last concert of The Doors, Jim Morrison]
Stokey Carmichael and RD Laing gave wonderful ‘intercourse’ of ideas sitting at the front of the stage, Roundhouse became meeting place and words, music, drama
Some nights with no events and people met at the bar

Other directing experience pre-Foco Novo
Around same time, RR assistant-directed two West End shows that came in from US
Michael White had seen Mustapha Matura plays and commissioned As Time Goes By for Edinburgh, then Royal Court and later at the ICA
Michael White knew RR needed work and gave him caretaking directing jobs after shows had opened
Did Dirtiest Show in Town, Tom Irons’s take on Oh Calcutta! as much about gay theatre as nudity, more successful in London than at Public Theatre in NY
Then Two Gentlemen of Verona (musical) – he was sacked because he didn’t attend enough rehearsals as he was directing for Ambiance
Directed plays at the Green Banana, Soho
Green Banana Club managed by Norman Beaton
As the actors left at 3pm the ‘girls’ were going in to start the real event of the evening
Norman Beaton was one of finest actors RR ever worked with but couldn’t get decent work till late in his career
Lunchtime theatre at Green Banana Club: very steep stairs took you down to the bar
Very little space to perform
Shows included: a David Mowat play, a one-hander with Doreen Mantle, and an Inuit play, Tony Rohr and Hilary Westlake were in it
And Gum and Goo [with Michael Feast and Frances Tomelty] by Howard Brenton
First time he met Howard Brenton, seen his work with Portable Theatre
As Time Goes By – Mustapha Matura [directed by RR]
Layered piece between 1930s and ‘40s Caribbean experience and that of 1960s Westbourne Grove
Drama  was around central character Stefan Kalipha played, based on a cousin of his who set himself up as a swami [guru] –figure, problem-solving for other people’s lives
Cast also included Mona Hammond, Oscar James and Alfred Fagon
Probably seen as old hat nowadays but very unusual at time
Mustapha Matura wonderful wordsmith but needs more development story-wise, will never cut a word from his scripts
Eleven characters in play, done at Traverse, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs [and ICA], very successful
Mustapha Matura now writing shows that include Indian-Trinidadian characters
Arts Council wouldn’t support plays with only one character
Next play was by Bernard Pomerance who came over at that time
Met Bernard Pomerance through David Aukin
Produced Bernard Pomerance’s Hot Damn High in Vietnam with Inter-Action at Almost Free Theatre & 11 Josephine House and a Fassbinder
Hot Damn High in Vietnam was about two GIs both of whom were 6’3”
Bernard Pomerance had written play called Foco Novo, set in Brazil because he had Brazilian friends and was interested in the politics there
10 in cast and RR said they had to find Equity minimum (£12) for actors
Bernard Pomerance went around wealthy friends US friends in Randolph Avenue and raised money for actors – friends of RD Laing, [Vietnam draft-dodging] drop-outs and so on
Did performances later at Oval but most interesting were at Roxy in Gospel Oak, a performance area also used by Freehold
John Ashford [used to run The Place, left 2009] used to live there as caretaker, it was a huge double garage, doors opened up onto street where they could play and then when the doors were closed they could play inside
Had a jazz drummer doing all rifle shots and used top of roof for searches
Roofs were corrugated iron so they made a wonderful sound
Story was based on a man called La Marca who was an urban guerrilla

Arden and D’Arcy
RR had seen CAST [Cartoon Archetypal SloganTheatre at Unity Theatre  [Communist Party venue for such works] before going to the States and admired Roland Muldoon’s work, he was pantomimic in a strange unpantomimic way

Having met John  Arden & Roland Muldoon before, he could only foresee a battle
The play [1968 How Muggins Was a Martyr by John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy] had been written, but Muldoon preferred something where the words were sublimated to the action
Story of being directed by Muldoon, Ardens had written it but they kept themselves to themselves
Had huge, popular Lefty audience caused a lot of argument afterwards: two worlds meeting and colliding
RR a huge admirer of John Arden as one of our lost playwrights, lost because he is not writing the big plays he can write & should be doing

Foco Novo continued
Directed Drums in the Night by Brecht for Freehold

RR had done Drums in the Night in States at Barnard College and wanted to do it again in a different way to the conventional way it was done in NY American actors have adopted the Method [from Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares] which came from Russian
Americans actors need the Method because they primarily do film work where they don’t have a rehearsal period, traditionally in UK have had time to rehearse for plays – this is changing
Nancy Meckler [Artistic Director of Freehold] wanted RR to work with her group who had worked together for a year or two by then & had a lot of expertise in their own method of working
As usual he was the odd person out
Freehold work more physical than Jo Chaikin, most of their shows used literal physical interaction, Jo Chaikin was more austere
RR had seen their Antigone at Arts Lab Drury Lane
Similar to La Mama in some ways, US shows that liked literal physical interaction of actors
In prep for rehearsal they used the cat exercise, similar to those exercises RR now does for his health problems, in which they stretched different parts of their bodies, and this was used in show
Great interest in the virtuosity of the actors, RR had to think of ways in utilising their style

Working with Freehold continued 
Difficulties working with Freehold as they were used to working with one person
Quite a lot of Freehold’s company are actors now and quite a lot aren’t and perhaps he was trying to rely on something that wasn’t there, they were used to free improvisation which he wasn’t skilled at then, and they were used to being given full reign which he gave them but hadn’t the experience to reign them in
He would now
Brecht was influenced not by what was in Germany at the time, which was an operatic style of acting, what Brecht would have loved was an English style of acting
Berliner Ensemble acting is a cross between a Freehold style of attitude with more traditional style of acting combined
Hard for an English actor to achieve what Brecht did, directors shouldn’t want to copy Brechtian style
Alienation can be translated as strange or different world, Berliner Ensemble created a ‘strange’ or ‘different’ world
That’s what he was trying to find that with Freehold
Stephen Rea was a member of Freehold at time, he gave an excellent performance because of his background and was trying to find what RR was after
RR learnt you don’t need sets
Worked a lot with CP Taylor at that time, did 3 or 4 things together, and he did the excellent adaptation of Drums in the Night which was performed at Traverse at Festival

Cockpit Theatre Season 1971, Welsh Theatre Company, Foco Novo
Had met Pam Gems already, she had written Betty’s Wonderful Christmas a pantomime, dark story of a girl who gets raped
Her husband’s money put it on & RR introduced him to David Aukin, and money helped developed what became a festival of alternative theatre briefly over Christmas at the Cockpit with People Show, Freehold and Pip Simmons
It was an unusual piece and has not been produced again
Cockpit near where he lived but he didn’t go there much
Foco Novo company was David Aukin, RR and Bernard Pomerance, formed to perform Foco Novo by Bernard Pomerance
No plans at the time to start a company under that name
Did CP Taylor’s Bread and Butter at Traverse, and for Welsh Theatre Company in a theatre in the ‘Splot Theatre’
Paid jobs from Betty’s onwards funded by Arts Council

Aladdin NUM Tour and sundry political theatre 
Aladdin – a Political Pantomime (1973) [Aladdin was a Miner, Abanazar, the Mine owner, Widow Twanky, was played by a man on roller skates, with balloons for his chest – it was pure slapstick. Two Policemen called Ping & Pong. Played Miners Clubs in South Wales, most notably, ice-bound Maerdy, a Communist stronghold of the Miners.]
NUM tour started at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and then toured to support the Miners Strike of 1974
Dai Francis (President of NUM  in South Wales at time) helped organise 2 or 3 tours through the auspices of the NUM in Wales
One they did in Wales, Yorkshire, Scotland and Kent and co-operated with Jonathan Chadwick, who wrote with John Hoyland two of the plays
They did Tighten Your Belt, The Nine Days and Saltly Gates and a play about Arthur Horner. 3 miners plays
[Dai Francis helped with booking in South Wales NUM lodges for Aladdin and with other coalfields for the tours of Tighten Your Belts and Nine Days. Also with information on Arthur Horner]
Aladdin done under auspices of the Welsh Theatre Company, some people who worked on this came to work with RR later on

Waiting for Lefty [original Clifford Odets], CP Taylor adapted it, Cherie Lunghi was in it
Worked for 7:84 on Occupations by Trevor Griffiths, hard to find an older actor to agree to go on tour, ended up with a right-wing actor
Back to Almost Free to do Cock Artists by Fassbinder
[Performance was attended by the Bavarian playwright friend and competitor of Fassbinder at the time, Kroetz, another playwright, who with Speer, made up the three Bavarian left-wing writers whose work was being translated and brought to London to various venues such as the Bush & Hampstead. Roland’s production was the first Fassbinder to be done in London. Katzelmacher is play’s German title]
Story of production

Foco Novo from 1972
The name Foco Novo dates from the play in 1972
Death of a Black Man by Alfred Fagon was a Foco Novo show presented by Hampstead Theatre, a mixture of the two companies
Didn’t have money to present Death of a Black Man but Hampstead did
Running of Foco Novo – at one time all of the cast were participants in Fovo Novo company decisions, especially those who did NUM shows
At a certain time that stopped
Early shows had different but similar casts
Why did changes in company structure come about?
The Elephant Man [transfer] couldn’t have been done on that basis as it require a different cast from those actors involved in the earlier plays
Chosen plays were very different to each other and required a range of actors in the casting
The play came more to dominate the event than in the early days when the company aims determined the people who were cast in it
Later on castings became character-specific need of play.
[Susan re: Two strands of Foco Novo work evolving. Political work which John Chadwick was involved and a new writing company where primacy is about serving the play which was RR’s bag]
There were inevitable tensions in a company which needs involvement of x number of people, impossible to maintain a non-boiling over of problems, it’s necessary to the form
Casting followed the needs of writing which precludes forming a collective body of actors, people, the two aims can ride alongside each other but can’t do both
A Seventh Man adaptation by Adrian Mitchell from John Berger, one of RR’s favourite productions
[It was about the ‘gastarbeiters’ – ‘guest workers’ from Turkey working in Berlin at the time]
RR started reading  Berger and loved his books, themes after his own heart [The book was read widely at the time and generated much interest and excitement among left-thinking people]
People travelling from their homes to a new world, from country to a city They set it in Turkey with local music that gradually changed to electronic music during course of performance
Used cast who had been in earlier NUM plays
Criticised for the cast not looking as they were meant to be but RR feels they very much reflected and captured themes of itinerant peoples of difference and critics couldn’t see it
Adrian Mitchell came up with adaptation and wrote songs, Ralph Steadman did sets [Sheelagh Killeen costumes] RR had to beat him down to reduce sets suitable for touring
[See Foco Novo page A Seventh Man for further information]
Bricks made of wood covered with hessian, rehearsed as to how to use them
John Berger was pleased with production
On tour and finished up in Hampstead, played Dartington
RR went touring with shows but not there every night
Supported by Arts Council by then
RR’s directing salary was based on Equity actor’s pay rate
[as was the norm at that time and therefore the same as everyone else]
Relationship with Arts Council was good, certain people there really did support work
RR and Sheelagh Killeen [his second wife and theatre designer, had been brought in to advise on possible ‘paper costumes’ for Betty’s Wonderful Xmas. Douglas Heap actually designed the whole show] met around time of Pam Gem’s Betty’s Wonderful Christmas
The production manager had been at the Mermaid Theatre where Sheelagh Killeen had been working
Marriage ended with Alene Strausberg in 1971, she married an Israeli-American (photographer Judah Pasal) and is a painter

Tighten Your Belts
, directed by Jonathan Chadwick for Foco Novo
Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance [for further description see Foco Novo page]
Elephant Man: Bernard Pomerance’s brother suggested he looked at book by surgeon recounting the history of the Elephant Man
He wrote play but didn’t tell RR, showed it to someone who had been in Freehold but they didn’t know how to stage it
Eventually gave it to RR to read and knew he could to do it
Toured and played at Hampstead, then produced in US, then at NT
[Designer was Tanya McCallin for tour, Hampstead at later at National Theatre]
Success on tour & Hampstead & even bigger success in US at the Booth Theatre, New York, but at NT the same critics who came to see it 18 months before didn’t like it anymore, although audiences did
Story of how it came to be done at NT, Michael Rudman was director at Lyttleton Theatre at the time and he was lost for a show & persuaded Peter Hall to take it
Foco Novo condition was to do it with original cast
NT only agreed to three: David Schofield, Jennie Stoller and Arthur Blake, rest drawn from resident NT company at time and others from outside
Story of how he came to stage opening
RR’s directorial vision [i.e. actor transforming his body without using make-up] got written into the final script
Debate with Bernard Pomerance as to whose brainchild it was
Ten days before opening they hadn’t decided on the beginning, all he had at that point was the original slides of the Elephant Man
A man [Mr Johnson?] at the London Hospital [where the remains of John Merrick, the Elephant Man, are kept] gave him slides of Merrick which you couldn’t really do the play without, nowadays you have to hire them
[For more on Elephant Man see Foco Novo page]
In the period between Hampstead/tour here and US, Mel Brooks put into operation doing it as a film, Bernard Pomerance discovered that there were some scenes that Mel Books had included from his version
Won a court case and gave money from legal battle to RR and David Schofield
Longest running straight play in NY, RR didn’t direct it there, huge success [First US actor to play Merrick was Philip Alglim. Unbeknown to them he had come over to Hampstead and studied David Schofield’s portrayal in great detail. Replicating the performance as his own in New York]. David Bowie was second Merrick in US and refused to strip playing the opening in a loin cloth [Further note on film version: Mel Brooks film was in 1980. Mel Brooks stole the original, but not factual, idea of the actress, Mrs Kendal, visiting John Merrick from Pomerance’s play so that his wife, the actress Anne Bancroft, could play the part in David Lynch’s film which Mel Brooks produced 2 years after Roland’s production at Hampstead. Mel Brooks settled out of court for a very large sum. Bernard Pomerance invented the scene, so that Merrick could have Romeo & Juliet read to him and then Mrs.Kendal undresses for him , in a tender scene – an act of charity for him as he could never hope to see a woman’s body in his poor deformed life.]
RR directed NT production, paid quite a small sum of money for it as not part of their main programme

Trials of Oz, the musical
[There was to be a musical version of the Oz trials called the Trials of Oz by Richard Neville which RR had been asked to direct]
Richard Neville took RR to meet Mr Van Wolf, the producer of the musical, in New York
Went through customs without being checked and taken to hospital where Van Wolf was dying of cancer, story of hospital visits, going every day to try and work
Clive Goodwin [RR’s agent in London from 1969 until that year] in NY ringing saying, ‘Hold on this could be worth a lot of money’
Van Wolf wanted to promote his young girlfriend in the show
RR eventually left on an open return, but Van Wolf’s men tried to stop him leaving
Production did happen eventually and closed the same day
Clive Goodwin connected RR to Michael White

Foco Novo plays, 1978 -79
1978, Withdrawal Symptoms by CP Taylor, On the Out by Tunde Ikoli and Free Fall by Colin Mortimer
First connections with Tunde Ikoli
Did 6 of his plays, not all for Foco Novo, met him through John Chapman, now a BBC producer, who wanted to do story of Tunde Ikoli’s brother who had just got out of jail: On the Out
Account of Tunde Ikoli’s brother performing in the show
Michael Feast and Hugh Kwachi
Start of relationship with Tunde Ikoli and him working with Howard Brenton Tunde Ikoli did wonderful adaptation of Gorky’s Lower Depths [speaks further about in third interview] on tour and at Tricycle Theatre

Withdrawal Symptoms was from story about the opium wars
The daughter of family was addicted and CP Taylor based it on contemporary house for curing addicts in Sydenham Hill, South London at the time, CP Taylor lived there for a time to experience what is was like, very strict regime, semi-religious
Wrote experience into the play
Met Tunde Ikoli on On the Out
RR loved his writing and approached him
Foco Novo approached writers with offer of commission if they were interested in a subject posed by RR or from a published work
Hardly ever did an unsolicited plays, became known for making commissions
Commissioning money from Arts Council as part of condition of grant
[Re Withdrawal Symptoms: The play showed the results of the Opium Wars, via the rich addicted daughter of a wealthy Scottish Family (e.g. Jardine – Matheson- once involved in the Opium wars in the 19C), set in modern time and played by Mary Maddox, who wore a placard saying, ‘The whole world revolves around me’ ! CP Taylor wrote what he observed and based his play on all those facts.]

Free Fall by Colin Mortimer
Sharman Macdonald [writer, Mother of Keira Knightley and wife of Will Knightley, Joint Stock actor] used to be an actress and was in Freefall
About a religious sect who get hold of you and don’t let you go
[The play was inspired by the Children of God cult which was very much around at that period]
RR insisted the cast met some members from the sect to study those who get addicted to such sects, Mortimer wrote play about a friend of his that was ‘lost’ to such a set up

Sink or Swim was about Peckham and by Tunde Ikoli
Chose cast of 6 people, 3 men, 3 women, 3 black, 3 white went around Peckham dong own research, getting stories
Extra grant from Arts Council that year to do something they ‘didn’t normally do, but not too different’
Allowed for a longer rehearsal period
Sink or Swim similar to Joint Stock way of developing work

On whole working with finished scripts, usual funded rehearsal time then was 4 – 6 weeks

Quantrill in Lawrence was already written by Bernard Pomerance
Used Elephant Man money to do another play by Brian Pemerance at ICA
with huge wooden set of Kansas trees
[Play was about the burning of the abolitionist town of Lawrence by pro-slavery Quantrill and his raiders]
Played just before NT production of Elephant Man, wasn’t well received by critics which RR thinks influenced their opinion of revival of Elephant Man

1979, Independence by Mustapha Matura commissioned by RR
About the influence of colonialism on present day in Trinidad
Mustapha Matura would do a refinement of RR’s idea
Never performed since, a good play, with Stephan Kalipha in cast
About two 70 year-olds meeting at a bar they used to frequent in pre-colonial times., although unused it still had the two wiping the bar tables
It’s a story about a young couple taking over where old people still linger
A good play but doesn’t have Chekhov play to sell it on [unlike Mustapha Matura’s Trinidad Sisters]
Mustapha Matura plays that are produced now are his adaptations, has plays about Trinidad which wouldn’t be done now

Working with Black writers and actors
RR had a good relationship with emerging Black companies and artists
Thoughts as to his relationship as a white director working with Black actors and writers.
RR asked Alfred Fagon Award advisors about the need for an award to bring Black writers to the fore
Roy Williams does not want to be known as a Black writer, yet most of his characters are Black, Stefan Ka;ipha doesn’t want to be seen and only cast in characters that are of his colour

Alfred Fagon
Alfred Fagon was a force to reckon with, a great friend for many years
Wrote his plays in RR’s front room, RR would type plays out as Alfred Fagon uttered forth
He’d disappear for months and then return and be seen every day and would visit and ‘hoover’ the fridge
After being in Black Pieces Alfred Fagon set about writing himself
He lived in Bristol where he had a lot of friends and he liked it there, had a resonance with the slave trade for him
Got small parts in Bristol TV and came to London, shared a flat with some barristers
Alfred Fagon had an irregular pattern of who he would see, came into house one Sunday and took RR to Notting Hill Gate to meet someone, it was Christine Keeler, unexpected friends, known and unknown

Four Hundred Pounds and Conversations In Exile they did as a two hander
Brecht piece [Conversations in Exile adapted by Howard Brenton] about two scientists waiting in Finland for friends coming out of Germany during the war
Then [in Four Hundred Pounds by Alfred Fagon] there were 2 pool hustlers in London, one of which had placed a bet of £400 on the final black ball
Description of story and production, two stories layered on top of each other

11 Josephine House [see Foco Novo page for more information] was in 1972 Alfred Fagon characters were not clever but heartfelt people
Relations living together and secluded in Bristol until the young lad introduces his white girlfriend into the group
Oscar & Horace James, T-Bone Wilson, Mona Hammond were in cast
Alfred Fagon had to act in it as another actor dropped out close to opening
Account of rehearsal and evolution of play and how they were able to inhabit it because of their background
Alfred Fagon would take RR around Peckham introducing him as playwright to local passersby and other incidents in his company
AF at aged 49, collapsed outside his flat in Camberwell and died before he got to hospital
Police went into flat afterwards with all his belongings that could have led to family friends but police didn’t do any following up
Ended up unnamed in North London crematorium, this led to his friends to promoting his plays so that he wasn’t forgotten

Death of a Black Man by Alfred Fagon was taken from story of a saxophone player from Jamaica who dropped dead in Birmingham Street [Joe Harriott was the saxophone player]

Sheelagh Killeen lived in Consort Road, Peckham, went looking for a house elsewhere and came across the house they now live in King’s Place

Second interview 11th January 2010
Not Foco Novo shows but with links to personnel
1972, some shows were under auspices of Foco Novo some not
They also had a collective called Community Theatre, used to meet at Roxy once a week
Got a grant for Community Theatre to do a show about Fords in Dagenham [The Motor Show].
Argument about work of John Littlewood not being what they were looking for, argument with Philip Hedley [Artistic Director at Stratford East at time] about what community theatre meant
Did Motor Show in Dagenham, Ron Daniels directed, RR did admin
Went all over Dagenham, performed in the swimming pool [empty at time!]
Not a Foco Novo show but a lot of cross-references – Jonathan Chadwick involved
Local audiences, except when they played a week at Half Moon in Alie Street
Had Union support, Sid Harraway, local Union man, was their contact
Show itself quite traditional in the way it presented its issues
Didn’t tackle one of things he was after, which was a new kind of theatre
It was comparable to Stratford East which was a great mixture of song and dance
Interesting thing was the playing in Dagenham rather than the piece itself
Published by Pluto Press
Paul Thompson, Jon Chadwick, Ron Daniels, Anne Engel, Steve Gooch involved
Once play had been written by Paul Thompson and Steve Gooch it was written, cast with actors some of whom were associated with Foco Novo, some not
Type of production that people on the Left seemed to fall into doing, rather than looking at new method, as Foco Novo did in their Aladdin which raised issues about mining industr.
Subsequently did a lot of Brecht shows with Foco Novo
Brecht pursued different methods of presenting shows unlike English music hall working class type of show
Foco Novo did a show 1974/75 about Arthur Horner, mine workers leader and member of Communist Party, toured through Wales
Archetypal production of Aladdin
Arthur Horner written by Phil Woods, historical piece
At same time doing Fassbinder’s Cock Artist, which was very different, not a Foco Novo show but Inter-Action show at Almost Free season
Long conversations with Fassbinder’s mother about it
So plays like Cock Artist and Arthur Horner were running parallel to Foco Novo work
More work came out of RR making pieces from his own interests and certain playwrights, except The Elephant Man
Much more interesting if they’d taken Cock Artist to NUM in Wales because themes were about racism and youth hanging around waiting for something to happen
Got project grants at that time, so that funding process precluded certain plays and themes
Tighten Your Belts and Saltley Gates in 1975/76 went later to mining communities

Peckham plays
1976/77 Arts Council gave money largely for touring
Show itself Foco Novo done in unusual place, The Roxy and out on streets
RR wishes they could have pursued pieces for their locations more, preferred to play in unusual places
Funding came with touring somewhat prescribed choice of work
An extra grant was offered one year to fund companies to do something different from the norm: ‘as long as you do something different to what you normally do, but not too different’
The ‘not too different show’ was the Peckham show by Tunde Ikoli, Sink or Swim
Cast of 6 (3 women, 3 men, 3 black, 3 white) went around Peckham gathering information, locally
Met around RR’s kitchen table, many plays were developed by him at home around the table
Sink or Swim: Tunde Ikoli wrote the play from stuff he garnered in, toured around local Peckham community halls
Singer/actor in show called Janet Key who was very popular with Black audiences then, at Bell’s Garden Estate she had to keep getting up and singing because it’s what the audience wanted
Extraordinary performing a show in Peckham about Peckham
After Peckham it ended up in the Albany Empire
Audience attention was extraordinary, thinking about previous scenes as next scene was playing and discussing it, talking about it and discussing it and having intercourse with actors
Sink or Swim [not published] took place in a local club with a white community worker trying to promote different activities and the problems that involved
Not so much the themes but where it was played and response of those who received the play
Did 5 or 6 of his plays in the 1970s into the 80s, his The Lower Depths not done now but excellent

Sleeping Policeman was another Peckham play in that it was based in the area
Tunde Ikoli and Howard Brenton collided together to write a play in which they both contributed
Inspired by workshop material which both took away and developed their own script away from each other
Again equal distribution of men, women, black, white actors in cast
Like a cubist sort of way cut up both versions a fitted them back together
Often 6 words, a short paragraph etc
On first day of rehearsal actors would guess who wrote what and they were in most cases wrong, cast as a character before the play was written
Playwrights were from very different backgrounds and life experiences
Toured in local areas and nationally ending up at Theatre Upstairs [Royal Court], it was published
Little bit about the play and process – a chiaroscuro of a play, not a continuous plot continuity
Scene between two actors from workshop didn’t necessarily make the final cut
More on play scenes, similarities with working process of Joe Chaikin having multiple narratives, equal distribution of men and women and parts on stage
Defines a use of actors and defines use of characters on stage unlike normal plays, hardly any one character is dominant
Funding for one or two weeks R&D and three or four weeks rehearsals
Could reduce down numbers in company to spend it on that sort of process
4 weeks writing gap in between R&D and rehearsal
Alfred Fagon part based on white tramp in Peckham, story of white tramp with two dogs played by Alfred Fagon
Play fell into place when they attended a local meeting about a housing issue
Sleeping Policeman based on such a meeting – about their lives
[More about actual tramp from Sheelagh Killeen. He was a poet called Jeffrey and lived in house of friend, who had been blown up in WW1 and had not been out of the house since the First World War. Nothing in house except newspapers]
Peckham was a character in play [Another story about Peckham and public phone in local launderette]
Sleeping Policeman and Sink or Swim, worked with Tunde Ikoli in their house The Lower Depth [based on Gorky’s play] was set in a rooming house – could have been Peckham

Seventh Man and other plays
11 Josephine House came from that mid 70s period
Black plays had a real place in the history of the company and was also an Inter-Action play with Foco Novo
John Berger’s A Seventh Man [adapted by Adrian Mitchell] same people cast in that play as in mining plays
Used live jazz percussionists in Foco Novo and Edward II
Live music was part and parcel of so much alternative theatre work
Music was integral to developing the work and one looked for actors who were musicians
Used musicians who composed music, Dave Brown composed music for Seventh Man
It came about after reading Berger’s book
Berger didn’t see himself as the person to dramatise it, Adrian Mitchell was the one and introduced the songs to it
Ralph Steadman was the designer, certain problems with him wanting the set to be larger than they one the could take on as a touring productions
Blocks of ‘bricks’ made of wood were central to the set
Rehearsing with bricks which were about 2 foot long
Some description of integration of bricks, action became integrated with music
One of most interesting shows, ended up in Hampstead Theatre, and on tour to art centres etc
Possibly recorded, may be in Brotherton Library [Special Collection in Leeds].
It would have to be updated if produced now because of changes in situation of migrant workers in Germany [see Foco Novo page for information]

More on Black theatre work and other plays 
1979 and Mustapha Matura Independence and MM being a comic playwright It was commission by Foco Novo
Description of piece, interaction between the old past of Trinidad and the new order
Topic he didn’t return to
Talawa reviving Rum and Coco Cola, originally designed by Adrian Vaux inspired by Hockney, two dimensional
At the end of show didn’t know what to do with the set, one of the last venues was a club in Westbourne Grove who took it and used it on Saturday nights as part of the bar’s décor
Performed at Bush and on tour (including others in London)

Landscape of Exile by David Zane Mairowitz at Half Moon
Writer approached them with a play he’d written about Engels living in London, 12 or 14 people in production
Got money from other sources and only on at Half Moon, Alie Street

The Guise by David Mowat, who died quite young
Met him through Green Banana when Inter-Action used it for their work before Almost Free
Club in Frith Street, Norman Beaton’s club, came to Ed Berman with his play Normal Woman which Doreen Mantel did
Another play emerged written in Inuit with Hilary Westlake and Tony Rohr

The Guise by David Mowat about a seventeenth century theatre company
Woyzeck not directed by RR but he was involved in choosing it

Quantrill in Lawrence – link with RR and American history
Written by Bernard Pomerance who had done Elephant Man year before
Money earned on Broadway production RR put into Foco Novo’s coffers  helped produce Quantrill
Done at ICA, main character played by David Schofield who’d played the Elephant Man
Big wooden set of forest that surrounded Quantrill, created environment in ICA
ICA was regular London venue for theatre companies in those days
Run by Ekow Eshun now [2010-11] who has got it into a good place although no theatre
Quantrill in Lawrence was story of Quantrill who purloined the daughters of Lawrence Town
Remarkable play, Bernard Pomerance involved with Greek mythology & bit cowboyish, better play than the critics gave it credit for
It was an American story but not contemporary which worried them
Actors wanting to know what it was about, expecting it to outclass Elephant Man, impossible to follow the success of Elephant Man

by Nigel Gearing, UK tour and New End Theatre [Hampstead] designed by Sheelagh Killeen
Number of playwrights who RR had the luck to direct their first shows in this country
One was John Constable (Black Mas) and the other Nigel Gearing who’d been living in Paris
The play (Snap) was the story of photographer [Edward Muybridge] who undertook a huge gamble on whether the hooves of a horse touch the ground when it gallops
About the story and production, the photographer presented with the problem of how to prove the gamble, play couched in terms of a Hollywood movie Muybridge had to set up thirty cameras to catch images of horse galloping About how you make film and how film affects what you are doing at the time, very visual in production
More description of production and storyline
Again a play with not a lot of plot, about how stereotypes are formed in films RR thought it was quite commercial and surprised not taken up
Played at New End in London, Nigel Gearing went on to write for radio not so much in theatre

How Foco Novo operated
Foco Novo had office in Newton Terrace, Maida Vale by then
Didn’t particularly want a base
Company tended to work September-October then February-April
Touring then into London theatres depending on which was free, although one did have a venue preference depending on play
Liked fact the new work could always go on and you could do that pretty much everywhere except in very few London spaces, Bush or Court

Edward II and Brecht
Edward II, Brecht adaptation, toured and then at Roundhouse
Middle-scale touring. Croydon and Brighton Gardner Centre
Brecht interest from US, Drums in the Night  in the US, then with Freehold and then Hampstead and Edinburgh Festival
Thinks Edward  II one of Brecht’s best, got Roundhouse because of Thelma Holt’s interest
Adrian Vaux’s design’s were made up of huge siege engines, and a jazz percussionist with many instruments created military score
Cast moved set around Roundhouse space, physically demanding
Percussions suspended on poles like a washing line
Pail on his head like Ned Kelly, language of Brecht very powerful and evocative, Brecht adapted more plays than people realise

Directing work at RADA post-Foco Novo
Worked at RADA post-Foco Novo because of Nick Barter
Nick Barter ran Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich before going to RADA
RR worked with 3rd year students
Did Mojo  by Jez Butterworth about rock and roll club in Soho, with Ben Wishall
Did a version of La Ronde with cast of 14
A play by Howard Brenton, Kit’s Play
Going to do it as an environmental piece on the Thames but regulations got in the way, finally opened the Jerwood Studio at RADA with it
So continued Foco Novo work with RADA and also at Rose Bruford in Deptford – Road [Jim Cartwright] and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire [Caryl Churchill] and Our Country’s Good [Timberlake Wertenbaker]
Ken Campbell play in Nuremberg: The Night I Danced with Mr Dolphin, later Ken Campbell plays were produced in Germany

Fringe First and Alfred Fagon Award
The book Fringe First came about because of Oberon Books commission
Decided to do it in form of interviews with people he’d worked with to build up a picture of the company at work
Two exceptions, one was John Ashford who lived at the Roxy and ended up running the Place [until end of 2009] (and was also Time Out drama critic)
Rest included designers, administrators, SMs, actors, writers
Not interviews so much as a catalogue of work and work experience

Alfred Fagon award is now running into its 13th or 14th year
Importance of award is that it’s not allied to any theatre
No other forces coming to bear, so the decision of winners is down to consideration of readers (rather than production goals) and discussions of Black theatre and where it’s going
Ongoing debate about play selections from committee
For example one year there were a number of knifings in Peckham and it drew a lot of plays that year on that topic, some committee members felt it was right to have plays on this subject, others felt it wasn’t a true representation of Black culture
Should Black theatre get rid of itself? Split debate on that subject
Quite a few of the plays have been taken up by producing houses
Last year’s award to a play that had already been produced, it’s an award for best new play
Should plays by new writers be prioritised over oldies? Lots of debate going on, takes temperature of where Black theatre is now
When they did 11 Josephine House – played to mainly white audiences
Valid as it portrayed an unknown life to white audiences
Nowadays there are no applications from anyone born in the Caribbean, all British-born
A Nigerian playwright won last year, warning from Nigerian committee member warned against inviting African writers to apply

Alfred Fagon plays
Four Hundred Pounds by Alfred Fagon, two- hander play about two pool hustlers living in Finsbury Park, £400 being the gamble put on, and a reference to 400 years of slavery
Short play so RR put it with a Brecht adaptation by Howard Brenton Conversations in Exile
Description of pieces and production
James Fenton [theatre critic] said you can’t give those actors those parts which was astonishing, Stefan Kalipha and Gordon Case were in it
Nothing in adaptation that indicates they should be Black
Thoughts on integrated casting at time
Howard Brenton adapted it from being a two hour Brecht discourse into a 50 minute play
Alfred Fagon died in 1986
His Lonesome Cowboy was done at Tricycle Theatre and one other play
Foco Novo commissioned him to do Adventure Inside Thirteen about a local club like in Peckham, main character was named ‘Slipper of the Yard’
Hero was police character and RR said he wouldn’t do the play in the mid 80s
Doesn’t know where script is, maybe with Harriet Cruickshank (Fagon’s agent)
Mr Puntila another of RR’s Brecht productions
Set in Sweden/Finland which he eloped to from Germany, stayed with a Finnish playwright there [Hella Wuolijoki]
Doesn’t tackle major themes like he does in later plays
Barry Stanton played ‘Puntila’ and lashings of music by Louis Armstrong between scenes which seemed to suit the atmosphere of the play

Interviewed for directorship at Tricycle Theatre at that time, always thought Trike a theatre that would suit him with its potential Black and Irish community, wasn’t really Stratford East material

1984 productions and beyond
Black Mas by John Constable about a woman singer looking for new material in the Caribbean during the festival
Another play of his was done at Soho Poly about tulip sales in the eighteenth century, not writing now, but now performs his own life, strange walks through different parts of London, mainly around London Bridge

Bloody Poetry, Howard Brenton’s life of Shelley based on biography of same by Richard Holmes
About RR’s interest in Shelley’s life and the parallels with life pursued in 60s and 70s
Howard Brenton liked Shelley’s involvement with Byron
One of Howard Brenton’s most popular play, Fiona Shaw’s first big job

Genet’s Deathwatch. RR’s attraction to Genet’s work
Sean Bean in it, his first job after RADA
Mojo got video of the film where Jez Butterworth made the characters all gay, but they weren’t necessarily gay in play
Film of Deathwatch which is censored because of scenes of eroticism
Actors didn’t want to play gay in RR’s productions, said it’s not necessary
In prisons inmates denied there was any homosexuality in prisons which supported actors attitude
Cast straight actors, wasn’t aware that he never cast gay actors in his productions
More about casting gay actors and playing of gay characters in the productions, most people didn’t worry about it except for Derek Jarman
Story of Nigel Williams interviewing Genet on TV, Genet demanded money up front (10K in cash) and led own interview

The Ass by Mike and Kate Westbrook which used live jazz
Worked with two musicians who put Sicilian jazz onto DH Lawrence poem Mike Westbrook said had to have grand piano on stage which in the end became part of the set
Twinkling lights of Sicilian town at night, had a live donkey
Kate Westbrook sang, pianist, accordion and saxophone players, performed at Riverside Studios

3 more Tunde Ikoli plays for Foco Novo including Lower Depths
Also Banged Up which John Chapman directed (wrongly listed in Fringe First)
Week In Week Out, directed by Tim Fywel

Savannah Bay, extraordinary production directed by [Lily] Susan Todd

Needles of Light by James Pettifer, story of Spanish Civil War, used music and choreography, set made of wood in shape of Spain, constructed during the course of the play
Basque dancing, stories of quarrels within the Republican ranks, a theme politically a bit late to take on in theatre at that time
Proud of production although reviews not so good

Cape Orchard, Norman Beaton was in it, adaptation of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard in Cape of South Africa
On tour and at Young Vic, had to ban writer in rehearsals, Michael Picardie (South African coloured writer)

Planning Consequences with multiple writers but funding plug pulled
Stoppard was involved in development of production, based on game of consequences
ACE had been vying for him for some time
They thought he should go off and do something else and that he could find work easily but he couldn’t
RADA was outlet for his work where he found better casts than in most professional theatre situations

Further details on Snap by Nigel Gearing, The Ass, DH Lawrence adaptation, and The Lower Depths, Tunde Ikoli after Gorky, given during a third interview at the beginning of 2011

Back to Roland Rees