We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online

The Life and Work of Richard Negri: The Development of British Theatre Design in the Post War Period

Burrows, David (2006) The Life and Work of Richard Negri: The Development of British Theatre Design in the Post War Period.

Type of Research: Other
Creators: Burrows, David

'The Life and Work of Richard Negri' documents the development of post-war theatre design through an analysis of the extensive archive of Richard Negri, the eminent theatre designer and influential teacher whose vision was instrumental in the design and construction of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester completed in 1976. The archive consists of several complete sets of costume designs, set design sketches, scale models, correspondence (including the director Michael Elliot, Negri's collaborator for 20 years) and various items of ephemera, and press clippings of productions that Negri designed and directed.

Burrows, a former student, and long term colleague of Negri, was the conduit through which the archive became entrusted to Wimbledon College of Art according to the wishes of Negri’s family. Burrows' critical examination of this primary documentation initiated collaboration with National Life Stories at the British Library Sound Archive enabling oral history interviews with Negri's surviving key associates during the 1950s and 1960s. These include the playwright Ronald Harwood, musician George Hall, lighting designer Richard Pilbrow, theatre director Frank Dunlop and actor Bernard Cribbins. These recordings are now housed at the British Library Sound Archive. Amongst other themes, they explore the liberation of performance from the proscenium arch during the latter part of the twentieth century in Britain.

Additionally Burrows has interviewed Negri's family members and former students examining the relationship between Negri's working life as a theatre designer, his influential teaching role at Wimbledon School of Art and his responsibilities in supporting a large family.

The website traffic from February 2006 indicates its growing usage as a resource for researchers internationally.

Official Website: http://www.richardnegri.co.uk
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Research Interests
All aspects of theatre design and visual aspects of performance practice from the latter half of the twentieth century onwards especially.

David Burrows is a theatre designer who has worked extensively in the UK and Europe. Alongside his professional practice as a designer he has worked in higher education for more than thirty years and is now Head of the Theatre School at Wimbledon College of Art.

Current Research
'The Life and Work of Richard Negri' is a project to acquire key information and perspectives on the development of post-war theatre design, from the ideas and teaching methods developed at the Old Vic Theatre School under Michel Saint-Denis, where Negri studied after serving in the Royal Navy during the second world war, to Negri's design and building of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in 1977. The study also examines the dilemma in teaching and learning between the infallible guru (the Negri model) at one extreme, and the current student-centred norm at the other.

Long-term collaborators
Phil Young has worked with many designers in the course of his work in the UK and Europe (especially Germany) over the last thirty years, and has sustained his professional relationship with Burrows for twenty-two of these. They have collaborated on seven productions, from 'Crystal Clear' (Wyndhams, 1983) to Alistair Beaton's 'Feelgood' (The English Theatres in Vienna and Frankfurt) in 2005.
Alkis Kritikos is a Greek actor/director who has worked mainly in the UK, where he trained in the late 1970s. Burrows has collaborated on 10 of Kritikos' productions from 'Miss Julie' by Strindberg in 1981 (Sir Richard Steele, London) to 'Roast Beef' by Leah Vitali at Riverside Studios in 2004.

David Graham-Young is a more recent collaborator. A distinguished translator of contemporary play texts, particularly from Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish, he is artistic director and founder of Contemporary Stage Company for which Burrows has designed the last five productions.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 1 February 2006
Related Websites: http://www.davidburrows.com, http://www.contemporarystage.co.uk
Related Websites:
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009 23:37
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2010 14:42
Item ID: 1850
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1850

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction