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Sheffield Theatres Issues Statement on Death of Beloved Founding Artistic Director Colin George

It was with great sadness that Sheffield Theatres received news of Colin George's death earlier this week. Colin was the founding Artistic Director of the Crucible Theatre; he took the lead in advocating for what was, at the time, a radical proposal to build a theatre with a thrust stage in the heart of Sheffield.

Appointed Artistic Director of the Sheffield Playhouse Theatre in 1965, Colin George led a team who in 1966, succeeded in getting funding for a new theatre in the city centre. After a research trip to America and Canada to meet renowned director Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Colin returned and presented his idea that the city's theatre should be built as a thrust stage, which would offer a unique relationship between the actor and the audience. Despite opposition, Colin was successful in his mission and created the iconic building and stage which has become renowned nationally and internationally over its esteemed history. The building was awarded Grade II listed status in November 2007.

During his tenure Colin also established Sheffield Theatre Vanguard. This innovative scheme took theatre out of the Crucible to engage with the wider Sheffield community. Sheffield Theatres continues to build on his legacy with Sheffield People's Theatre, a cross-generational community company which trains and nurtures the aspirations and skills of local people through special one-off projects and collaborations.

Speaking of Colin's death, Robert Hastie, Artistic Director commented: 'Colin was a visionary and I, along with all the Artistic Directors of this theatre, past and future, will be will be forever

indebted to him for his passion and commitment to constructing this remarkable building and stage. As an actor and later a director, Colin understood the remarkable connection that

performing on a thrust creates. It is an ongoing tribute to him that thousands of people come to the Crucible every year to see work on this incredible stage and I am privileged to be a trustee

of his legacy.'

In 2011 Colin George returned to the Crucible to perform in Othello directed by Daniel Evans. This gave Colin a final opportunity to experience the thrill of the relationship between actor and audience on the stage that he so passionately championed forty years earlier.

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