Who were/are our theatre heroes? What did they give us and do we still have it?

William Wollen, 19 September 2012

We had loads of different heroes and heroines-

people who were dead
people who were alive
people who had made us say “I want to do that!”
people who had disappointed us when we met them
people we were still in awe of
(a few people we'd quite fancied)
people we'd grown out of
people we still had imaginary conversations with and gave us imaginary advice

a lot of them were people who'd given us permission
people who made us say “wow”
people who'd broken rules and done things we'd never thought of some heroes who'd just started things off for others to finish people who found ways of challenging the dominant social view

a lot of our heroes were teachers
but just because they were great teachers didn't mean they made the greatest work

dead heroes can be the easiest ones to talk to

Here are some of our heroes:
Bob Wilson - I want to do that
Peter and Nettie Rumney - challenging challenging children
Mark Murphy
Meyerhold - biomechanics
Jane Briers - what are you really doing?
Forkbeard Fantasy - permission to be silly and not grow up Augusto Boal - he liked one of helim's shows and sent will an email Samuel Beckett - purity
Rose English - is she wearing a wig? can we go further
Bobby Baker - saying hello to Harlem
Tom Morris - helping people take risks
Mark Rylance - saying those words for the first time
Viola Spolin
Michel St Denis - rigour
Kneehigh - everybody contributes
Keith Johnstone
Stelark - that guy with the hooks in his face
Antonio Fava
Philippe Gaullier -
Anne Bogart
John Mowat - don't blame the furniture
Joan Littlewood
Peepolykus - that show with Javier left on stage
Rudolf Laban - that work - discipline
John McGrath (the alive one)

John McGrath (the dead one) Told by an Idiot
Ronnie Burcket
Welfare State

Margot Fontaine
Jacques Le Coq - engaging with materials Michael Chekhov

Michel St Denis
Femi Osofisan - questioning Uta Hagen - respect

They've given us inspiration, permission and a place to go back to.

Sorry if I've spelt any of them wrong.

In the discussion: Will, Alex, Brian, Estelle, Jo, Phelim, Kene


Spolin, hero, permission, Hagen, Theatre, theatre hero, Michael Chekhov, Rylance, Gaullier, Mowat, Laban, Bogart, Osofisan, Beckett, Bobby Baker, Burcket, Tom Morris, theatre