Barry Jackson (director)

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This article is about the English theatre director. For other people of the same name, see Barry Jackson.
Jackson in 1922

Sir Barry Vincent Jackson, (6 September 1879–3 April 1961), was a distinguished theatre director and the founder of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre who enjoyed a productive professional relationship with George Bernard Shaw.

Life and career[edit]

He was the son of George Jackson of Birmingham and was educated privately. His first name was given to him by his parents in admiration of Barry Sullivan.[1]

He was the founder and Governing Director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and was also a director of the Royal Opera House in London. From 1929, he gave his support to the Montreal Repertory Theatre and worked closely with Martha Allan promoting Canadian theatre. From 1933, the Sir Barry Jackson Trophy was awarded to the best Canadian play staged at the Dominion Drama Festival.

He directed the Malvern Summer Festivals from 1929 to 1937 and was Director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1947-48. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Birmingham on 16 April 1955.

In 1960, Jackson's health began to deteriorate as a result of leukaemia. He spent time between the hospital in Birmingham, his home in Malvern and his office at the theatre. The final play he saw was "Antony and Cleopatra" at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, but he was unable to stay longer than the first intermission.

Letters written by Sir Barry Jackson and other materials are held at the University of Birmingham Special Collections and at Birmingham Central Library Archives.

There is a tower block named in his honour - Barry Jackson Tower in Aston, Birmingham.



  1. ^ Selected correspondence of Bernard Shaw. 4. Bernard Shaw and Barry Jackson, University of Toronto Literary Collections, 2002
  • Conolly, Leonard W (2002). Bernard Shaw and Barry Jackson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3572-8. 
  • Hankinson, C. F. J. (ed.), Debrett's Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, 1954, Odhams Press, 1954
  • Birmingham Post and Mail Year Book and Who's Who, 1973-74, Birmingham Post and Mail Ltd., July 1973

External links[edit]