This site is a web
resource intended for theatre studies students and researchers and will
develop to provide a broad range of material covering the life and work
of Richard Negri, the eminent theatre designer and influential teacher
whose vision propelled the extraordinary Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester
into existence in 1976. The site also aims to offer a particular insight
into aspects of the development of theatre design professional practice
during the second half of the twentieth century.
The research, by David
Burrows, former Head of the Theatre School at Wimbledon
College of Art, has been assisted by a series of interviews with colleagues
of Negri coordinated and conducted by Lydia O'Ryan on behalf of the
National Life Stories project at the British Library. Audio clips have
been uploaded of selected moments from these interviews with the writer
Ronald Harwood (which was completed in November 2005),
close collaborator George Hall (musician, composer
and teacher interviewed on February 24th 2006), and Richard
Pilbrow (distinguished lighting designer and Chairman Emeritus
of Theatre Projects Ltd.).
The actor Bernard
Cribbins (actor and assistant stage manager at Oldham Repertory
Theatre and for the Piccolo Theatre Company from 1952 to 1954), was
interviewed shortly before Christmas 2006 and material from that interview
is now included. The final interview of this series, with the director
Frank Dunlop (co-producer with Negri of the Piccolo
Theatre in 1954), took place on February 2nd 2007, clips from which
have also been uploaded.
Supplementary material from interviews conducted by David Burrows continue
to enhance the site, most recently in February 2009 with Michael
Williams, the project manager during the building of the Royal
Exchange Theatre in Manchester, the designer Johanna Bryant
and the actress Avril Elgar who both shared their memories
of Negri in November 2007.
Book is now published!
Go to www.blurb.co.uk
and enter 'The life and work of Richard Negri' for access to a full
preview of the book, or click on the link below for a mini preview .
In February 2009 a 13 page, copiously illustrated article by David Burrows
on Negri's life and work was published in Theatre
Design and Technology (TD&T), the quarterly journal
of USITT in the USA.
(Go to the interviews page)
Negri in discussion with Orson Welles, working as his
assistant, in the rehearsal room for
'Lady in the Ice', a Roland Petit Company ballet for the Stoll Theatre
family, principally his sister and children, have also supported the
project by offering full access to the archive of surviving designs
and photographs (now stored in the archive at Wimbledon College of Art)
as well as providing personal recollections and insights into Negri's
life and work. Additional insight is also contained in clips from interviews
with members of Negri's family to be found on the Biography
Anyone with any further information, recollections or insight about
Richard Negri in any context can contact the webmaster by clicking here
to access a convenient form.