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Memorials Honour Late Pimlott, Morley & Hepple

By • West End
The life and work of director Steven Pimlott (pictured) will be celebrated tomorrow (Thursday 17 May 2007) at the National’s Olivier Theatre, where his final production, a revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo starring Zoe Wanamaker, opened posthumously in March.

Contributors will include actors, playwrights, choreographers and other directors who have worked with and been influenced by Pimlott over the years, including: Maria Friedman, Philip Quast, Samuel West, Michael Feast, Jeremy Sams, Edward Kemp, Anthony van Laast, John Ramm and Meera Syal. “Steven Pimlott: A Celebration” starts at 11.45am for 12.00pm. Everyone is welcome and no ticket is required.

The 53-year-old Pimlott died, during rehearsals for The Rose Tattoo, on 14 February following a long battle with lung cancer (See News, 15 Feb 2007). A former joint artistic director at Chichester Festival and associate director at Sheffield Crucible and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Pimlott’s wide-ranging credits included Hamlet, Richard II, Antony and Cleopatra, The Seagull, Nathan the Wise, Sunday in the Park with George, Doctor Dolittle, Bombay Dreams and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, soon to be revived in the West End, as well as more than 35 operas internationally.


Next week, Sheridan Morley, another theatrical dignitary who died the same week as Pimlott (See News, 19 Feb 2007), will be remembered next Tuesday (22 May 2007) at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre. The son of actor Robert Morley and godson of Noel Coward, Coward was a renowned critic, author and broadcaster. He died in his sleep on 16 February at the age of 65.

Morley reviewed theatre for numerous publications over the years, including Punch, the Spectator, the International Herald Tribune and the Daily Express; was a newscaster for ITN and presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Late Night Line-up; wrote biographies of Coward and John Gielgud; devised musical revues, including Noel and Gertie, which is often revived and was mounted Off-Broadway; and turned his own hand to directing, including a West End revival of Coward’s Song at Twilight, starring Vanessa and Corin Redgrave.

The memorial takes place at 12.00pm and is by invitation only. Friends and colleagues may request invites by emailing sheridanscelebration@hotmail.co.uk.

The Sheriday Morley event follows last Friday’s memorial for another leading theatre journalist. Peter Hepple, former editor of The Stage, was remembered at an event held at St Paul’s, Covent Garden and attended by many of his peers and interviewees from a long career. He was editor of the industry newspaper from 1972 to 1992 and, even during retirement, remained involved as a consultant and contributing editor. Hepple died on 11 October 2006 at the age of 79. Visit Michael Coveney's blog for more reporting on Hepple’s memorial service.

- by Terri Paddock


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