Elizabeth MacLennan

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Elizabeth MacLennan (16 March 1938 – 23 June 2015) was a Scottish actress, writer and radical popular theatre practitioner.


MacLennan was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Alongside her husband, playwright John McGrath, and brother, David MacLennan, she helped to found 7:84 Theatre Company (in 1971) and 7:84 Scotland (in 1973).[1] She performed in plays with 7:84 throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in such classics of British popular theatre as The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil (1973), Trees in the Wind, and Men Should Weep. In 1990, she published an account of her time with the company, The Moon Belongs to Everyone, in which she acknowledges McGrath her "major 'influence' and life partner".[2]

MacLennan participated in the earliest known example of an interracial kiss on television in Britain during You in Your Small Corner, a Granada Play of the Week written by Barry Reckord and broadcast on 5 June 1962,[3][4] in which she kissed actor Lloyd Reckord. A claim for that milestone had previously been made for Emergency – Ward 10, which post-dates the kiss between Reckord and MacLennan.[5]

MacLennan died of leukaemia on 23 June 2015 in London, aged 77.[6]

Selected filmography[edit]

Works cited[edit]

  • MacLennan, Elizabeth. 1990. The Moon Belongs to Everyone: Making Theatre with 7:84 London: Methuen; ISBN 0-413-64150-3.
  • McGrath, John. 1981. A Good Night Out: Popular Theatre: Audience, Class and Form. London: Nick Hern Books, 1996; ISBN 1-85459-370-6.
  • McGrath, John. 1990. The Bone Won't Break: On Theatre and Hope in Hard Times. London: Methuen; ISBN 0-413-63260-1.
  • McGrath, John. 1996. Six-Pack: Plays for Scotland. Edinburgh: Polygon; ISBN 0-7486-6201-4.


  1. ^ Michael Billington, "Elizabeth MacLennan obituary", The Guardian, 29 June 2015.
  2. ^ Elizabeth MacLennan, The Moon Belongs to Everyone, Methuen, 1990, p. viii.
  3. ^ "You in Your Small Corner (5 Jun. 1962)", IMDb.
  4. ^ Eleni Liarou, "You in Your Small Corner (1962)", BFI Screen Online.
  5. ^ Brown, Mark (20 November 2015). "TV archive discovers couple who beat Kirk and Uhura to first interracial kiss". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Phil Miller (25 June 2015). "Tributes as Elizabeth MacLennan, actress and 7:84 founder, dies". Herald Scotland. 

External links[edit]