William "Bill" Gaskill (24 June 1930 – 4 February 2016) was a pioneering British theatre director, who was "instrumental in creating a new sense of realism in the theatre". Described as "a champion of new writing", he was also noted for his productions of Bertholt Brecht and Restoration comedy.
Born in Shipley, West Yorkshire, Gaskill was educated at Salt High School, Shipley, where he ran an amateur theatre with Tony Richardson. He won a scholarship to attend Oxford University, where he began directing, and he subsequently studied in Paris with Étienne Decroux.
Gaskill worked alongside Laurence Olivier as a founding director of the National Theatre from its time at the Old Vic in 1963. In 1962, he directed Vanessa Redgrave and Eric Porter in Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He was the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre between 1965 and 1972, where he directed premieres of plays by writers including David Hare, John Arden, Edward Bond and Arnold Wesker, as well as introducing many of Bertolt Brecht's works to British audiences.
William Gaskill was an associate member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Gaskill, W. (1990), A Sense of Direction, Limelight Editions, ISBN 0-87910-134-2
- David Jays (4 February 2016). "William Gaskill obituary". The Guardian.
- Alasdair Steven, "William Gaskill", The Herald Scotland, 22 February 2016.
- Michael Quinn, "Former Royal Court artistic director William Gaskill dies", The Stage, 4 February 2016.
- "William Gaskill, theatre director - obituary", The Telegraph, 9 February 2016.
- Michael Quinn, "Obituary: William Gaskill", The Stage, 5 February 2016.
- William Gaskill at the Internet Movie Database
- Royal National Theatre past productions 1963-70 (includes many by Gaskill)
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