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Peter Streuli

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An influential figure in British theatre, Peter Streuli worked as a stage manager, actor, technical stage director, lighting designer and director of plays.

From 1952-57 he was the stage director for Glen Byam Shaw at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon. Later he was appointed director of productions for the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and directed the first five of six productions in the repertoire.

He was also a notable tutor and worked at the Old Vic Theatre School with Michel Saint-Denis (1950-52) and at the Central School of Speech and Drama (1960-62) where he offered intensely practical guidance to aspiring actors and stage managers.

Born in Ealing, London on November 19, 1915, he was educated at Taunton School and Birbeck College, where he was a member of the dramatic society. He decided on a professional career in the theatre and studied acting at the Webber Douglas Drama School where his fellow students included Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray.

At the outbreak of war he became an active member of ENSA, touring the UK as a juvenile lead in various plays and in 1944 joined Sir Barry Jackson’s Birmingham Repertory Theatre as an actor and stage director.

Two year later he worked as a stage director at the Arts Theatre in London and went on to become a tour manager for HM Tennant.

He was briefly a producer at the Edinburgh Festival but in 1952 Glen Byam Shaw invited him to become chief stage director and lighting designer for five seasons at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

Streuli’s theatrical knowledge and skills quickly won loyalty from those working with him at Stratford and his creative lighting design, in association with scenic designers Motley and others, was remarkable. Among the outstanding productions that he worked on as a stage director were Anthony and Cleopatra (1953) with Michael Redgrave and Peggy Ashcroft, Othello (1954) with Anthony Quayle, Twelfth Night (1955) with John Gielgud, Macbeth and Titus Andronicus (1955), both starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Peter Brook’s production of The Tempest (1957) with John Gielgud and Julius Caesar (1957) with Alec Clunes.

He died on January 2, aged 91. He is survived by his two sons.

Patrick Newley

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