07 Nov 2014 JOAN LITTLEWOOD ARCHIVE
While in London, I decided to visit the Olympic Park in Stratford because it was within such easy reach and pop into an old haunt of mine nearby, the Theatre Royal, where the legendary Joan Littlewood was artistic director from 1953 to 1979. Joan and I became friends because of my work with a group of young artists who devoted immense creative energy to ephemeral art in the form of multi-media events, performance art and street theatre. At the Theatre Royal I happened to meet Jan Sharkey-Dodds who is Head of Young People’s Work and mentioned my connection to Joan and her partner Gerry Raffles. I also told her that I had footage of Joan at one of our outdoor events staged in June 1968 and offered to send a copy to the theatre. In due course I was contacted by the archivist, the actor Murray Melvin and today he emailed me that the DVD had arrived. If I understood Jan rightly, Joan’s papers are kept at the theatre for ease of access, although I doubt a theatre can provide the conditions to properly preserve papers and artefacts of such importance.