The Official Biography by Peter Rankin
‘My only gift is to grow a show,’ said Joan Littlewood, annoyed by what she had not achieved. Even so, her ability to do just that put her and her company, Theatre Workshop, head and shoulders above mid twentieth-century theatre.
In the year when she would have been a hundred, which includes three revivals and a commemorative stamp, Peter Rankin, who worked with Joan for 38 years and in whose flat she died, takes the papers she left him and goes back to the beginning. As she told him: ‘You know me better than I know myself.’
Drawing on Littlewood's personal archive, Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities observes at close hand one of the most influential theatre makers of the twentieth century.
'the most galvanising director in mid-20th century Britain.’ Peter Brook
'one of two undoubted geniuses of the post-war British theatre, the other being Peter Brook.’ Sir Peter Hall
'Joan Littlewood brought theatre to the people of east London and revolutionised the international theatre landscape with her bold and powerful productions. She was an inspiration to many and it’s important that we recognise the significance of her work...’ Kerry Michael, Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East