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'Once upon a time, the London theatre was a charming mirror held up to cosiness.
Then came Joan Littlewood, smashing the glass, blasting the walls, letting the wind of life blow in a rough, but ready, world.
Today, we remember this irresistible force with love and gratitude.' (Peter Brook)Along with Peter Brook, Joan Littlewood, affectionately termed 'The Mother of Modern Theatre', has come to be known as the most galvanising director of mid-twentieth-century Britain, as well as a founder of so many of the practices of contemporary theatre.
The best-known work of Littlewood's company, Theatre Workshop, included the development and premieres of Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey, Brendan Behan's The Hostage and The Quare Fellow, and the seminal Oh What A Lovely War. This autobiography, originally published in 1994, offers an unparalleled first-hand account of Littlewood's extraordinary life and career, from illegitimate child in south-east London to one of the most influential directors and practitioners of our times.
It is published along with an introduction by Philip Hedley CBE, previously Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East and Assistant Director to Joan Littlewood.
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