Boris Howarth, director (1949-2009)
Boris Howarth was co-founder of Lancaster Street Theatre with his wife Maggy, and a long-standing friend and collaborator of radical poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell, working with him on The Hot Pot Saga (1968) before going on to help found with John Fox and Sue Gill and others Welfare State International, becoming associate director of the vibrant collective of artists producing large scale events and celebrations. He also worked in 1973 with John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy on The Non-Stop Connolly Show at Dublin’s Liberty Hall. See here for a BBC radio discussion of Welfare State’s Bonfire Night and Halloween celebrations
For more information see: Boris Howarth Guardian obituary
If you knew Boris Haworth and have particular memories of him or his work in this area (including possibly photos or flyers) that you would like to contribute, please contact us.
Boris the Great – from Liz Cullinane, artist 2015
‘I met Boris at a weekend workshop he led in Trinity College, Dublin in the early 1990s. I knew of Welfare State’s extraordinary work & as a child of the punk rock politic was drawn to knowing more. We all learned so much that weekend and my eyes were opened by this wonderful, non conformist energetic enthusiast who managed to get past my recession-bitten cynicism.
Boris invited me to work with him in Belfast that Autumn on a Halloween event in Belfast. So come September I found myself being driven from one community venue to another across various political & rural barriers, physical obstructions & class divides to provide on the spot costume design services for the Snake Out event. It was mental & probably the most fun I had ever had while being paid. Boris infected everyone he came in contact with on that project with the sense of possibility, of anything might happen. He met every difficulty or no show with a solution, be it the inevitable flea circus or whatever entered his head in that moment. He was luminous & remains so in my memory of how art can change the world. It doesn’t even matter to me that a bomb scare forced the shut down of the event on the day because we had all been changed by the process that Boris led us through’.