Howard Davies

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Howard Davies

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:30 pm

I note the death, reported today, of the highly acclaimed stage director Howard Davies (MaA 1956-63), known at CH as 'Barrel' (for some reason not immediately apparent) whose theatrical career began, I think, as one of the rude mechanics in David Jesson-Dibley's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the school play in 1962, which also went on tour to Holland.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14818
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Howard Davies

Post by J.R. » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:40 am

michael scuffil wrote:I note the death, reported today, of the highly acclaimed stage director Howard Davies (MaA 1956-63), known at CH as 'Barrel' (for some reason not immediately apparent) whose theatrical career began, I think, as one of the rude mechanics in David Jesson-Dibley's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the school play in 1962, which also went on tour to Holland.
Sad news. I don't recall him personally, but he was of my era, leaving the same year as me.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Howard Davies

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:22 pm

Th.B. 27 1955-63

rockfreak
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Howard Davies

Post by rockfreak » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:32 pm

Guardian had an obit too, suggesting that he thought public schools encouraged snobbery.

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14818
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Howard Davies

Post by J.R. » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:39 pm

rockfreak wrote:Guardian had an obit too, suggesting that he thought public schools encouraged snobbery.

I would tend to agree when looking at the likes of Eton.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

rockfreak
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Howard Davies

Post by rockfreak » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:37 pm

Not entirely John. The Grauniad obit said that his father was a miner turned glass blower who instilled in him a deep love of learning. "The teachers at Christ's Hospital were bright enough to give a natural rebel a measure of authority which he immediately used to abolish fagging. The experience of being forced through the class and educational system bred in him a peppery radicalism which was evident both at Durham University and in Bristol, where he first worked at the Old Vic in the 1970s while living in a commune."

On a different but not entirely unrelated tack: What is the attitude at CH these days to people who find that the manual school has provided them with a talent they hardly suspected? My own father was a miner for a while but he moved south and was a working class Conservative for much of his life (although eventually becoming disenchanted with Mrs Thatcher). Although not distinguishing myself academically at CH I took home a few items of woodwork, ironwork and metalwork which my parents treasured. But if I'd said to them on leaving that I wanted to work with my hands they'd have been aghast and protested that I didn't go to a school like that to become an artisan - although they wouldn't have used that term. Does the school encourage this these days? There was precious little careers advice back then for non-uni leavers as I remember.

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Howard Davies

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:29 am

CH certainly encouraged intellectual snobbery. Howard Davies 'only' went to Durham University, and was never a button grecian. If you were of a vaguely academic bent (as he was) and most of your friends were going to Oxbridge (as they were), this doubtless hurt.

(I recall a cartoon I saw about that time -- in Private Eye? The caption read: 'It doesn't matter which university you go to, my boy. They're both very old.')
Th.B. 27 1955-63

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14818
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Howard Davies

Post by J.R. » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:25 pm

....... and now of course, many former colleges are called Univerisities.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Fidésien
2nd Former
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:09 pm
Real Name: Chris Martin

Re: Howard Davies

Post by Fidésien » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:42 pm

After a few years away … I too was sorry to learn of Howard's death, to which I was only alerted by my brother who was at Durham with him. I kind of think that very few English Grecians of that era were awarded their Buttons. Though my Lamb A contemporary Ian Christie, also without Buttons, read English at Magdalen, along with Julian Barnes. The newspaper obituaries are full of praise for Howard's work in the theatre. Sadly I haven't see any of his work since a production of The Tempest at Stratford back in the far-away days of the early 1980s. I last saw Howard at Clive Perdue's funeral in Paris on Good Friday, 2008, when he was one of those who paid tribute to Clive; and I am sorry that we didn't speak more then. The obituaries say that Howard came from Durham. But my unreliable memory is that that in his CH years Howard lived in Reading. And we were hugely impressed (jealous) that he had directed the young Marianne Faithfull in a play there !

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests