Location: Theatre Square, London
Artist: Philip Jackson
This bronze statue, called ‘The Mother of Modern Theatre’ is based on an iconic photograph of Joan Littlewood in the 1970s, when the Theatre Royal Stratford East was threatened with demolition, sitting on rubble in almost exactly this location. Joan Littlewood (1914-2002) was an English theatre director, who demolished the barriers between ‘popular’ and ‘art’ theatre.
The sculpture was created by Philip Jackson, an award-winning Scottish sculptor, noted for his modern style and emphasis on form. It was unveiled in 2015 outside Theatre Royal, the year in which she would have turned 101. Jackson wanted the sculpture to be a permanent reminder of her great contribution not just to British theatre, but to world theatre.