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Joan Littlewood

Joan Maud Littlewood (October 6, 1914 - September 20, 2002) was a theatrical director, famous for her work in developing the left-wing Theatre Workshop. She had trained as an actress at RADA, and set up the "Theatre Union" in Manchester, England, in 1935. With the assistance of Ewan MacColl, she changed its name and moved it, in 1945, to Stratford East in London. She and MacColl were married for about fifteen years, but divorced in 1950.

The company gained international fame, and performed in France and the USSR. One of Littlewood's most famous productions was the British première of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children (1955), which she directed and in which she also played the lead. The work for which she is now best-remembered is probably the satirical musical, Oh! What a Lovely War (1963), which gained great critical acclaim and was subsequently filmed.



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