John Counsell (theatre director)

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John Counsell
OBE
Occupation Theatre director, actor, and theatre manager

John Counsell was an English actor, director and theatre manager, who (with his wife Mary Kerridge) ran the Theatre Royal, Windsor and its in-house repertory company from the 1930s to the 1980s. His daughter is the actress Elizabeth Counsell, and he was uncle to the actress and painter Jean Miller.[1] Born in Beckenham, to Claud Counsell and Evelyn Fleming, the bulk of Counsell's career was spent in Windsor repertory theatre and the West-end stage.[2][3]

Theatre management[edit]

Theatre Royal in 2006

In 1930 Counsell served as an apprentice at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, Berkshire, when it reopened as a theatre after a short time as a cinema. In 1933 he took over managing the theatre; the venture lasted only a few months before it went bankrupt, but the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II attended one of the last performances, coming from nearby Windsor Castle.[4]:74 Counsell re-opened the theatre in 1938[5] and was able to establish a viable company that ran without government subsidies.[4]:74, 115 He and his actress wife Mary Kerridge ran the theatre until his retirement in 1986, the year before his death.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Theatre Archive Project, British Library. Jean Miller – interview transcript Interviewer: Emily Blakey. 14 May 2008
  2. ^ "Jean Miller obituary: Telegraph". 
  3. ^ Eric Shorter. "Mary Kerridge". the Guardian. 
  4. ^ a b Rowell, G, et al. The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain. Cambridge University Press, 1984 ISBN 9780521319195
  5. ^ Douglas Mayo for Britishtheatre.com 22nd December 2014 Weekly Rep Returns To Theatre Royal Windsor
  6. ^ "Obituary: Mary Kerridge". The Independent. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Counsell, John. "So Who Needs Subsidy, Anyway?", Scottish Theatre, Inverkeithing, Scottish Theatre, Vol.2 No.3, pp. 6–8 (May 1970)