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.

The 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 in1952,

Negri's 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 page.

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