About the author
Charles Marowitz (1932-2014)
Charles Marowitz, American-born theatre director, critic, and playwright, staged provocative, often experimental, theatre, notably as the cofounder (with Thelma Holt) of London’s avant-garde Open Space Theatre, where he served as the artistic director from 1968 until the theatre closed in 1980. His desire to flout theatrical conventions was most evident in his “collage” adaptations of classic plays by Shakespeare, and others in which he sought to unsettle audiences by imposing contemporary interpretations, shuffling the scene order, and/or reassigning speeches to different characters. While still in his teens, Marowitz began acting and contributing reviews to the Village Voice periodical.
After he completed his military service (based in France), he attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and settled in London. In the 1960s he worked closely with Peter Brook at the Royal Shakespeare Company Experimental Group (the Theatre of Cruelty) and directed West End premieres of such plays as Joe Orton’s "Loot" (1966/67). After the demise of the Open Space Theatre, Marowitz moved to Los Angeles, where he was associated with the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre (1981–89) and was founding artistic director (1990–2002) of the Malibu Stage Company. Marowitz’s best-known play was arguably Sherlock’s Last Case, which was produced on Broadway in 1987 starring Frank Langella.
David Weinberg, PhD
Dr Weinberg’s previous book, Off-Broadway/Off-West End: American Influence on the Alternative Theatre Movement in Britain 1956-1980 was published in 2017. He has taught theatre studies at institutions including Goldsmiths College, University of London, Kingston University London, and in the California State University system. He has worked as an actor and director at West End theaters including the Arts Theater, Leicester Square Theater, St James Theater, Trafalgar Studios, and the Soho Theater as well as Off-West End/Regionally/Internationally at the Young Vic Theater, Oxford Playhouse, Piper’s Opera House, Cockpit Theater, King's Head Theater, Rose Playhouse, Theatro Technis, Baron's Court Theater, Burton Taylor Studio, Etcetera Theater, Hudson Theater (Los Angeles), Actors Lab Theater (Los Angeles), RADA, and a festival hosted by the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2012 it was confirmed that Dr Weinberg was the first American to direct at the historic Rose Theater, Bankside where the plays of Shakespeare and Marlowe were first performed. He received a Directing Award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1997.
Thelma Holt CBE
Thelma Holt, in partnership with Charles Marowitz, founded the Open Space Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, which became a forerunner of the London fringe. In 1977, she joined the Round House in Chalk Farm as Artistic and Executive Director. In 1985 Thelma Holt joined the National Theatre as Head of Touring and Commercial Exploitation. She was responsible for the following West End transfers: A Chorus of Disapproval, The Petition, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Three Men on a Horse, A View from the Bridge. She was also responsible for major tours of National Theatre productions to: Paris, Vienna, Zurich, North America, Moscow, Tbilisi, Tokyo, and Epidaurus.
Thelma Holt produced International 87, a series of four visits to the National Theatre by international theatre companies: The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill directed by Peter Stein (production from the Schaubühne, Berlin), Miss Julie by August Strindberg and Hamlet by William Shakespeare, both directed by Ingmar Bergman (productions from the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm), Macbeth by Shakespeare and Medea by Euripides, both directed by Yukio Ninagawa (the Ninagawa Company from Tokyo), Tomorrow was War by the Mayakovsky Theatre Company from Moscow. For this international season Thelma Holt received the Olivier/Observer Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre and a special award from Drama Magazine. Holt was awarded the 2018 Sam Wanamaker Award, by Shakespeare’s Globe, for producing and touring many award-winning Shakespeare productions. Her productions include The Merchant of Venice with Dustin Hoffman, Hamlet with Alan Rickman and Much Ado About Nothing, starring Mark Rylance and Janet McTeer. As associate producer of the Royal Shakespeare Company, she also toured productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Co-productions with the RSC in the West End include The Taming of the Shrew, and associate producer of Imperium.