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Ernest Blythe (1889–1975) by unknown photographer, 1922 Getty Images

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Blythe, Ernest [Earnán de Blaghd] (1889–1975), politician and theatre director, was born on 13 April 1889 in Magheragall, Lisburn, co. Antrim, the eldest child of James and Agnes Blythe. He came from a Church of Ireland and staunchly Orange background and was a most unlikely convert to Irish nationalism. Educated at the local ...

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Browne, (Elliott) Martin (1900–1980), theatre director, was born at Zeals House, Zeals, Wiltshire, on 29 January 1900, the third son of Colonel Percival John Browne and his wife, Bernarda Gracia née Lees. He was educated at Eton College, and Christ Church, Oxford, where he took seconds in modern history (1921) and theology (1923). On graduating from ...

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Casson, Sir Lewis Thomas (1875–1969), actor and theatre director, was born at 18 Alfred Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire, on 26 October 1875, the third of the seven children of Thomas Casson (1843–1911), bank manager and organ-builder, and his wife, Laura Ann (1843–1912), daughter of ...

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Sir Lewis Thomas Casson (1875–1969) by W. Mear, 1906 Garrick Club / the art archive

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Craig, (Edward Henry) Gordon (1872–1966), theatre director and designer and wood-engraver, was born on 16 January 1872 in Railway Street, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the only son and second child of the architect and radical Edward William Godwin (1833–1886) and the actress Ellen Alice Terry (1847–1928)...

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(Edward Henry) Gordon Craig (1872–1966) by George Charles Beresford, 1911 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Edwards, Hilton Robert Hugh (1903–1982), actor and theatre director, was born on 2 February 1903 at 1 Bathurst Mansions, 460 Holloway Road, London, the only child of Thomas George Cecil Edwards (d. 1910), a district magistrate in India, and his second wife, ...

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Elliott, Michael Paul (1931–1984), theatre director, was born at 4 Chester Square, Westminster, London, on 26 June 1931, the second son and third child of the Revd Wallace Harold Elliott (d. 1957) of Brook House, Compton, near Guildford, Surrey, and his wife, ...

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Garland, Patrick Ewart (1935–2013), theatre and television director, actor, and author, was born on 10 April 1935 at the Ormond Maternity Home, 29 Blantyre Street, Chelsea, London, the only child of Captain Ewart James Garland (1897–1985), representative of a rubber company, and his second wife, ...

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Marius Goring (1912–1998) by Howard Coster, 1934 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Goring, Marius (1912–1998), actor and director, was born on 23 May 1912 at Newport, Isle of Wight, the second son of Dr Charles Buckman Goring (1870–1919), a criminologist of a Sussex family, and his wife, Katie Winifred, née Macdonald (1874–1964), a pianist, of Scottish descent. His father, an advanced theorist on the nature and causes of criminal behaviour, was a prison doctor at the time of ...

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Griffiths, Drew (1947–1984), playwright and theatre director, was born on 17 January 1947 at 25 Caroline Street, Irlam, Urmston, Lancashire, the only child of Leonard Griffiths (1906–1973) and his wife, Mona, née Smith (1910–1973). While Methodism was the paternal tradition, Griffiths was brought up within the ...

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Jones, David Hugh (1934–2008), theatre, film, and television director, was born on 19 February 1934 at Devonport, 77 Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset, the son of the Revd John David Jones, Congregational minister, and his wife, Gwendolen Agnes Langworthy, née Ricketts (1898–1987). He was educated at ...

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Maker: by unknown photographer

John Peter McGrath (1935–2002) by unknown photographer, 1966 © Empics

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McGrath, John Peter (1935–2002), playwright and director, was born at 3 St David Road, Birkenhead, on 1 June 1935, the son of John Francis McGrath, an elementary school teacher, and his wife, Margaret, née McCann. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family with strong Irish and some Welsh connections. When the Second World War broke out, he was evacuated to a village in ...

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Monck, (Walter) Nugent Bligh (1878–1958), actor and theatre director, was born at the vicarage, Welshampton, Shropshire, on 4 February 1878, son of the Revd George Gustavus Monck (1849–1920), vicar of Welshampton and later a curate and incumbent in parishes in Liverpool, and his wife, ...

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Payne, Ben Iden (1881–1976), theatre director and actor, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 5 September 1881, the youngest in the family of two sons and two daughters of the Revd Alfred Payne, a Unitarian minister, and his wife, Sarah Glover. He was educated privately and at ...

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Steven Charles Pimlott (1953–2007) by Clare Park, 2004 © Clare Park

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Pimlott, Steven Charles (1953–2007), opera and theatre director, was born at 332 Wellington Road North, Stockport, Cheshire, on 18 April 1953, the younger child of Arthur Pimlott, a fire insurance assessor, and his wife, Marian, née Whittaker. At the time of his birth registration the family lived at ...