Monthly Meeting – Tuesday 12th January 2016 Talk by Brian Freeland - "View from the Wings"

Brian Freeland, a playwright and director, gave a very lively and informative talk on the theatre with many amusing anecdotes.

He said after that National Service he had been enthused by a visit to the Theatre Royal in Bristol at which he saw Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman’ and realised that a career in stage management would be his choice. He firstly worked at the London Palladium and also in TV where he was influenced by many who were famous including Harry Secombe.   During the 1960’s he was at a Butlins Holiday Camp which provided excellent theatre management experience. He continued working in a wide range of different aspects of live entertainment including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. His view from the prompt corner was very different to that from the stalls so that there could be tantrums in the wings and fights in the dressing room. He was particularly attracted to opera and ballet with director roles with Scottish Opera and Sadlers Wells Ballet. He toured extensively abroad with dance and drama companies. The highlight was going with the Festival Ballet to China just after the Revolution which provided a proud and unforgettable experience.

Since retirement he has lived in UK, France and Scotland directing, writing scripts and giving talks. He has just published his book entitled ‘Around the World in Eighty Plays’.

 

John Brewer