A sculpture of one of theatre’s most famous directors is to be unveiled in London.

The Joan Littlewood sculpture will be unveiled outside the Theatre Royal Stratford East on October 4, following a public fundraising campaign.


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Nearly £250,000 was raised for the bronze sculpture.

Sculptor Philip Jackson said: “Joan was a hero of the theatre so that makes doing it more fun than say doing Royalty or a War Memorial.

“However you still have to produce an image that will be relevant to those that knew her and those that will see and enjoy her work in the future.

“All sculptures of this type start with collecting reference, trying to get to know the subject through talking to people that knew them and looking at photos and film.”

The tribute was made possible are crowd sourcing the money behind it, in a campaign fronted by friends of Ms Littlewood Murray Melvin and Barbara Windsor.

The day includes the official unveiling, a screening of Sparrows Can’t Sing, and a celebratory tea party.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “The sculpture of Joan Littlewood will be a permanent reminder of her great contribution not just to British Theatre, but to World Theatre.

“We are proud of our history at Theatre Royal Stratford East and this is the perfect way to celebrate it.”

The sculpture will be unveiled by 15-year-old Alex Jarret from Newham, who is a member of Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Young People’s Work.

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “Stratford is now a world-leading residential, business and tourism destination and Theatre Royal Stratford East has played a huge role in delivering this.

“With the area changing at such a rapid pace, it is important not to forget its rich history – this is why we have always supported this project.

“This memorial will be a fitting tribute to an inspirational director who put Theatre Royal Stratford East on the global stage.”

Joan Littlewood, who became known as the “mother of modern theatre” died in 2002, aged 87.

A number of events in London will mark the unveiling of the sculpture on October 4. For more information, and tickets, click here.