Colin Grainger

Joan Littlewood sculpture plans approved by Newham Council

Joan Littlewood sculpture

Newham councillors have granted planning permission for a bronze sculpture to be erected in Stratford to honour the legendary theatre director Joan Littlewood.​

The council’s The Strategic Development Committee have agreed that the sculpture on a stepped stone base can be erected in Theatre Square outside the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

The theatre is commissioning internationally acclaimed artist Philip Jackson, who created the Champions sculpture at Upton Park, to produce the work of art.

Joan, who died in 2002, had brought her Theatre Workshop Company, which performed shows aimed at working-class audiences, to the Stratford theatre in 1953.

The sculpture is based on a famous photograph of her sitting on a pile of rubble outside the theatre in 1967 when the area was being developed. The sculpture will go in almost the same spot and will be unveiled in what would have been the year of Joan’s 100th birthday.

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, actress Barbara Windsor and Theatre Royal Stratford East’s honorary archivist Murray Melvin, recently launched a public appeal to raise funds for the sculpture. Newham Council is supporting the project.

Sir Robin said: “The enormous level of investment in Stratford is transforming the area at an incredible pace and on a huge scale, helping to position Newham as a world-leading residential, business and tourism destination.

“This sculpture project will give Stratford a feature that will link to its rich theatrical history and provide a fitting memorial to a radical figure that put Theatre Royal Stratford East on the global stage.”

Those wishing to support the appeal for the sculpture of Joan Littlewood can do so by making a donation at or through a collection box at the theatre’s Box Office.

Pictured: Sir Robin, Barbara and Murray a model of the sculpture in Joan’s memory. Picture: Andrew Baker.



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This article was written on 17 Dec 2013, and is filed under community, East London, History, Newham, Newham Council, Sir Robin Wales, Stratford, Theatre Royal, Uncategorized.

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