50 Years at Wellington Circus: The Sixties

1963 Sir Tyrone Guthrie directs Coriolanus, the opening production in Peter Moro’s ground-breaking new theatre on Wellington Circus. The cast includes Leo McKern, Dorothy Reynolds, Ian McKellen, James Cairncross and Michael Crawford; the title role is played by John Neville, now appointed Artistic Director (initially alongside Frank Dunlop and Peter Ustinov)

1964 Alistair Sim plays Shylock; Ian McKellen plays Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and the title role in Sir Thomas More, a production which marks the play’s first professional staging in 400 years

1965 The UK premiere of The Cavern by Jean Anouilh transfers to London; the Playhouse launches its summer Arts Festival, including ’Owd Yer Tight by Nottingham theatre critic Emrys Bryson

1966 Neville directs Judi Dench as an acclaimed Saint Joan; As You Like It and A Man for All Seasons tour to Bangkok, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Borneo, Singapore and Manila

1967 Harold Pinter directs Donald Pleasance in the world premiere of The Man in the Glass Booth by Robert Shaw; Hollywood actor Robert Ryan appears in Othello and A Long Day’s Journey into Night after meeting John Neville on a film set

1968 New Artistic Director Stuart Burge entices Jonathan Miller to direct The School for Scandal and The Seagull; Peter Barnes’ new satire The Ruling Class, later filmed with Peter O’Toole, transfers to the Piccadilly Theatre

1969 Denis Quilley plays The Entertainer; Leonard Rossiter is Arturo Ui in a production transferred to London’s Saville Theatre; Jonathan Miller directs Michael Hordern as King Lear