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Charles Marowitz in London: Twenty-Five Years Hard: Marowitz in the Sixties

  • Simon Trussler

Abstract

Charles Marowitz, who died on 2 May this year, arrived in England from his native New York in 1956, on a scholarship earned for service in Korea. He immediately found in Unity Theatre a venue for his first London production, and in the following year opened his own theatre – an attic in the headquarters of the British Drama League known as In-Stage. In 1981, after the closure of his last and longest London base, the Open Space Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, he left, disillusioned with his adopted country, to settle in California, creating companies in Los Angeles and in his new home of Malibu. But during the momentous decade of the sixties it was British theatre that Marowitz helped to reshape – not least in developing London's still flourishing ‘fringe’. In this feature, NTQ co-editor Simon Trussler celebrates not only Marowitz's directing career, on which many obituarists have written, but also – through personal recollections of the man in those early years – the many other ‘hats’ he wore: as theatre critic, editor, playwright, and cultural entrepreneur. Marowitz's long-term professional partner, Thelma Holt, shares her own memories of the twelve years when together they formed and ran the Open Space. Marowitz contributed to the old TQ and to New Theatre Quarterly, but here we include some of the articles he wrote in later life for the online Swans Commentary, to which we are most grateful for permission to reprint. All are from 2012, when Parkinson's disease was tightening its hold, and so are among the very last pieces he wrote.

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Charles Marowitz in London: Twenty-Five Years Hard: Marowitz in the Sixties

  • Simon Trussler

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