Donald Albery

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Sir Donald Arthur Rolleston Albery (19 June 1914 in London[1] – 14 September 1988) was an English theatre impresario who did much to translate the adventurous spirit of London in the 1960s into theatrical reality.

Born into a theatrical family, his father was director Sir Bronson James Albery, his first job was struggling to manage Sadler's Wells Ballet during the air raids of World War II. Perhaps such an experience formed a modernist sensibility and when he launched his own Donmar company in 1953 he championed plays by Graham Greene, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Jean Anouilh, and an adaptation by J.B. Priestley of an Iris Murdoch novel.

Though always commercially minded, his spirit of adventure endured with the first London production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and sponsorship of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. In 1960, Albery, in collaboration with William Donaldson, produced Beyond the Fringe in London and, in 1962, in New York.

From 1964 to 1968, Albery served as director and administrator of the London Festival Ballet.[1]

Albery was knighted in 1977 for his services to the theatre.


  1. ^ a b Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "ALBERY, Sir Donald". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. p. 7. ISSN 0083-9833.