Thelma Holt

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Thelma Holt, CBE
Thelma Holt (colour) photograph.jpg
Born (1932-01-04) 4 January 1932 (age 82)
Lancashire, England, UK
Occupation Producer, retired actress
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Patrick Graucob (divorced, 1968), David Pressman (divorced, 1970), Patrick Graucob (remarried, 2011)

Thelma Holt, (born 4 January 1932) is a British theatre producer and former actress.[1]

After a successful career as an actress, in partnership with Charles Marowitz, Thelma founded the Open Space Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, London,[1] which became the forerunner of the London fringe. In 1977, joined The Round House in Chalk Farm as Artistic and Executive Director.[1] There she instigated a policy of bringing the best of regional theatre to London: Citizens Theatre (Glasgow), Royal Exchange Theatre Company (Manchester), Stephen Joseph Theatre Company, Scarborough.

She gave London the opportunity to see some of the successful productions initiated at the Edinburgh Festival. Other visiting companies included: Josef Szanja (Poland), The Pickle Family Circus (USA), Circus Oz (Australia), Antoine Vitez (France), Rustaveli Theatre Company (Georgia, CIS).

From 1977–83 Holt was Artistic Director at the Round House.[1] In 1983 The Round House closed and Thelma Holt joined the Theatre of Comedy as Executive Producer where she produced Loot by Joe Orton, directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Leonard Rossiter. (For further information on Thelma Holt at both the Open Space and at the Round House, see (Vaulting Ambitions by Jennie Schiele, published in 2004.)

Work with the National Theatre[edit]

In 1985 Thelma Holt joined the National Theatre as Head of Touring and Commercial Exploitation.[1] She was responsible for the following NT West End transfers: A Chorus of Disapproval, The Petition, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Three Men on a Horse and A View from the Bridge. She was also responsible for major tours of National Theatre productions to: Paris, Vienna, Zurich, North America, Moscow, Tbilisi, Tokyo, Epidavros.

Thelma Holt produced INTERNATIONAL 87, a series of four visits to the National Theatre by international theatre companies: The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill directed by Peter Stein (production from the Schaubühne, Berlin), Miss Julie by August Strindberg and Hamlet by William Shakespeare both directed by Ingmar Bergman (Productions from the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm), Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Medea by Euripides both directed by Yukio Ninagawa (the Ninagawa Company from Tokyo), Tomorrow was War by the Mayakovsky Theatre Company from Moscow. For this international season Thelma Holt received the Olivier/Observer Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre[2] and a special award from Drama Magazine.

In 1998 she co-produced The Fairy-Queen by Purcell, directed by Adrian Noble for the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Thelma Holt produced INTERNATIONAL 89, a second series of four visit to the National Theatre by international theatre companies: Tango Varsoviano by Teatro del Sur (Buenos Aires), Grapes of Wrath by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago), Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov from the Moscow Art Theatre and Suicide for Love the return of the Ninagawa Theatre Company.

Work with the Peter Hall Company[edit]

For the newly formed Peter Hall Company, Thelma Holt was Executive Producer for: Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams (cast included Vanessa Redgrave), presented at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (cast included Dustin Hoffman) presented at the Phoenix Theatre, London and in New York, The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen (cast included Alex Jennings, David Threlfall, Nichola McAuliffe) presented at the Phoenix Theatre, London. Thelma Holt was Executive Producer for Triumph Proscenium's production of Pirandello's Henry IV starring Richard Harris, which was presented in 1990 at Wyndham's Theatre, London. In 1990 she also presented two visiting productions at the National Theatre: Hamlet by William Shakespeare (the Bulandra Theatre Company from Bucharest), The Kingdom of Desire based on Shakespeare's Macbeth (the Contemporary Legend Theatre from Taiwan).

Thelma Holt Limited[edit]

1990–1999[edit]

1990

  • Tango at the End of Winter by Shimizu in a version by Peter Barnes, directed by Yukio Ninagawa, cast included Alan Rickman, presented at the Piccadilly Theatre

1991

1992

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Sturua, cast included Alan Rickman in the title role, presented at Riverside Studios and on tour in the UK

1993

  • Medea by Euripides, directed by Yukio Ninagawa, Ninagawa Company in association with Point Tokyo Co. Ltd., presented in Zurich, Switzerland

1994

1995

1996

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Return of Ninagawa Company production to Mermaid Theatre, London

1997

  • Shintoku Maru, directed by Yukio Ninagawa, cast included Tatsuya Fujiwara. Ninagawa Company at the Barbican Theatre

1998

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Hiroyuki Sanada in the title. Presented at the Barbican Theatre as part of BITE season

1999

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare, directed by John Crowley, cast included Rufus Sewell in the title role. Presented at the Queen's Theatre
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa, cast included Nigel Hawthorne in the title role. Royal Shakespeare Company production in association with HoriPro Inc. presented in Tokyo, London and in Stratford-upon-Avon

2000–2013[edit]

2000

2001

  • Semi-Monde by Noël Coward directed and designed by Philip Prowse. London premiere production presented at the Lyric Theatre, London.
  • Sotoba Komachi and Yoroboshi by Yukio Mishima directed by Yukio Ninagawa cast included Tatsuya Fujiwara. Ninagawa Company presented at the Barbican Theatre, London as part of BITE: 01.

2002

  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare directed by Patrick Mason cast included Richard Briers. UK tour in association with Theatre Royal, Plymouth (Stage 1 of Arts Council Three Year Initiative).

2002/03

  • The Jacobeans – West End presentation at the Gielgud Theatre in association with Bill Kenwright of RSC productions.
  • Edward III by William Shakespeare. Olivier Special Award to the Acting Ensemble 2003.

2003

  • Pericles by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Ninagawa Company at the Royal National Theatre.
  • Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen directed by Ingmar Bergman. Royal Dramaten Theatre, Stockholm production presented at the Barbican Theatre as part of BITE:03.
  • The Taming of The Shrew by William Shakespeare directed by Mark Rosenblatt, cast included Nichola McAuliffe and Ross Kemp. UK tour in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth (Stage 2 of Arts Council Three Year Initiative).

2004

  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare in repertoire with The Tamer Tamed by John Fletcher directed by Gregory Doran RSC productions presented in association with Bill Kenwright at the Queen's Theatre, London.
  • All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare directed by Gregory Doran cast included Judi Dench. RSC production presented in association with Bill Kenwright at the Gielgud Theatre, London.
  • Othello by William Shakespeare directed by Gregory Doran cast included Antony Sher. RSC production presented on tour in Japan in association with HoriPro Inc.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa cast included Michael Maloney in the title role. UK tour and presentation at Barbican Theatre as part of BITE: 04 in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth (Stage 3 of Arts Council Three Year Initiative).

2005

  • Primo by Primo Levi adapted by Antony Sher and directed by Richard Wilson. Solo performance by Antony Sher National Theatre production presented in association with Bill Kenwright at the Music Box, New York. Outer Critics' Circle Award for Solo Performance.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare directed by Gregory Doran. Tour to Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Japan. RSC production presented in association with HoriPro Inc. and Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo.

2006

  • Hay Fever by Noël Coward directed by Peter Hall with Judi Dench and Peter Bowles. Produced in association with Bill Kenwright at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London.
  • Breakfast With Mugabe by Fraser Grace directed by Antony Sher (debut as director) at Duchess Theatre. RSC production presented in association with Nica Burns.
  • Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Presented in association with HoriPro Inc. Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth. Part of RSC Complete Works Festival.
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, a new adaptation in two parts by Mike Poulton. An RSC production of an RSC Commission directed by Gregory Doran, Rebecca Gatward & Jonathan Munby. Presented at the Gielgud Theatre in association with Bill Kenwright.

2007

  • Coriolanus by William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Presented in association with HoriPro Inc. at the Barbican Theatre as part of BITE 2007.
  • Kean by Jean Paul Sartre. Antony Sher in the title role directed by Adrian Noble. Presented in association with Anthony Field and John C. Causebrook at the Apollo Theatre.
  • The Giant by Antony Sher directed by Gregory Doran. In association with Hampstead Theatre and by arrangement with the RSC at the Hampstead Theatre.

2009

  • Twelfth Night after William Shakespeare directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Presented in association with Shochiku Grand Kabuki at the Barbican Theatre as part of bite 2009.
  • The English Samurai by Mike Poulton & Shoichiro Kawai directed by Gregory Doran. In association with HoriPro Inc. at the Galaxy Theatre, Tokyo.

2010

  • Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen in a version by Frank McGuinness directed by Iain Glen at the Duchess Theatre.
  • Musashi by Inoue Hisashi directed by Yukio Ninagawa. In association with HoriPro Inc. at the Barbican Theatre as part of bite 2010.

2011

2012

  • Cymbeline by William Shakespeare, directed by Yukio Ninagawa. Produced in association with HoriPro Inc. at the Barbican Theatre as part of bite 2012.
  • Written on the Heart by David Edgar, directed by Gregory Doran. RSC production presented in association with Bill Kenwright and Nica Burns at the Duchess Theatre.
  • Volcano by Noël Coward, produced in association with Bill Kenwright. UK tour and at the Vaudeville Theatre.

2013

  • Anjin – The Shogun & The English Samurai by Mike Poulton and Sho Kawai, directed by Gregory Doran. Produced in association with HoriPro Inc. in Japan and at Sadlers Wells Theatre.

Honours & Awards[edit]

Olivier/Observer Award – Outstanding Achievement (1987)[2]

Shakespeare Globe Classic Awards – Tyrone Guthrie Award for Best Production (1993) (Much Ado About Nothing)[3]

Tony Award (with Bill Kenwright) – Best Revival (1996) (A Doll's House)

C.B.E. – Queen's Birthday Honours List (1994)[1]

Award for Excellence in International Theatre – British International Theatre Institute (1994)

Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (2004) – presented by Japanese government[4]

Distinguished Friend of Oxford University (2006)[5]

Theatrical Management Association's Special Award for Individual Achievement (2006)[6]

Positions Held[edit]

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre – Chairman (2002 to 2005) subsequently Associate Director.[1]

Arts Council of England – Member of Council and Chairman of Drama Advisory Panel (1994–1998)[1]

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – Member of Council and Member of Finance & General Purposes Committee

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow – Vice-President.[1]

Almeida Theatre – Director (2001 to 2009)[1]

Stage One (formerly Theatre Investment Fund) – Director and Chairman of Young Producers' Bursary Panel

Middlesex University – Member of Court

State of Unrest Theatre Company (dissolved 2003) – Patron

Oxford University – Cameron Mackintosh Professor Contemporary Theatre (1998).[1]

Oxford University Dramatic Society – Patron.[1]

Royal Shakespeare Company – Associate Producer (from 2004)[7]

Honorary Degrees[edit]

Oxford University – Emeritus Fellow, St. Catherine's College (2003)[1]

Open University – Hon. MA (1998)[citation needed]

Middlesex University – Hon. Doctorate (1994)

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts – Companion (2002)[8]

University of East Anglia – Hon. D. Litt (2003)[9]

University of Plymouth – Hon. Doc. of Arts (2010)[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Miss Thelma Holt CBE". Debrett's People. Debrett's. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Olivier Winner 1987". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Thelma Holt is a new Visiting Professor". Oxford University Gazette. Oxford University. 13 November 1997. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Japanese Government honours Thelma Holt". Embassy of Japan in the UK. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Oxford honours friends from across the world". University of Oxford. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Smith, Alan. "Thelma Holt scoops Special Award...". The Stage News. The Stage. 
  7. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (5 September 2004). "Shakespeare lovers pull a few strings". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "LIPA Companions 2002 -2003". Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Honorary Graduates of the University". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "University News Centre". Plymouth University. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 

External links[edit]