Catherine Tate to present Radio 2 doc about Joan Littlewood

Catherine Tate.
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Catherine Tate is to present a BBC Radio 2 documentary exploring the legacy of Joan Littlewood, which will mark the centenary of the director’s birth.

The 60-minute programme is called The Mother of Modern Theatre and is being penned by Elliot Davis, who co-wrote the musical Loserville. It will feature contributions from Ronnie Corbett and Theatre Royal Stratford East artistic director Kerry Michael.

In 1953, Littlewood, who died in 2002, brought her Theatre Workshop company to the TRSE.

Davis, who is producing the documentary through Wise Buddah production company, said the programme “reveals [Littlewood’s] struggle against the establishment, her love of words and her fight to create theatre for real people spoken in their own voices”.

He added that it would draw from extensive research and audio archive material, including material from Littlewood herself, as well as actor Richard Harris, Littlewood’s partner Gerry Raffles, and comedy actor Victor Spinetti.

Davis’ programme also features an interview with actor Murray Melvin, who worked with Littlewood.

“It is a real honour to write Joan’s story in 2014, which is the centenary celebration of her birth,” Davis said.

The Mother of Modern Theatre broadcasts on November 10 on BBC Radio 2