50 Years at Wellington Circus: The Seventies

1970 The National Theatre brings Hordern’s Lear and The Alchemist to the capital. Hamlet, starring Alan Bates and Celia Johnson, follows later, as does the provocative new play Lulu

1971 Peter O’Toole, Donal McCann, Niall Toibin and Frank Middlemass are Waiting for Godot, a production that for the length of its run “makes Nottingham Playhouse the theatrical capital of England,” says Sunday Times critic Harold Hobson

1972 The British Council tours Playhouse productions of The Tempest and The Homecoming to Northern France, the first visit of its kind to the region

1973 Richard Eyre is appointed Artistic Director; Sue Birtwhistle founds Roundabout; resident dramatist David Hare directs Brassneck, a trailblazing social satire co-written with Howard Brenton and featuring Jonathan Pryce

1974 Ken Campbell’s new play Bendigo brings a fairground atmosphere to the story of Nottingham’s great boxing hero

1975 Gemma Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and Mark McManus star in A Streetcar Named Desire; Richard Eyre premieres Trevor Griffiths’ Comedians, starring Jimmy Jewel, Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Rea, which transfers to the National Theatre at the Old Vic, thence to the West End, and the following year is directed by Mike Nichols on Broadway

1976 Richard Eyre directs Zoë Wanamaker’s Eliza in Pygmalion, and Daniel Massey’s Othello, also starring Timothy West, Alison Steadman and the young Antony Sher, who goes on to play the lead in Travesties

1977 The world premieres of Stephen Lowe’s Touched and Adrian Mitchell’s White Suit Blues are both directed by Richard Eyre

1978 New Theatre Director Geoffrey Reeves directs Tom Wilkinson as Henry V

1979 Alan Rickman has an early lead role in Antonio, adapted from Marston by Peter Barnes and co-directed by Barnes and Reeves