Peter Darrell, founder of the Scottish Ballet, was born in Richmond, Surrey, on 16 September 1929 and died in Glasgow on 2 December 1987.
In 1956 Darrell and Elizabeth West, who was teaching at the Old Vic School in Bristol, founded a company which was then called Western Theatre Ballet. After her untimely death in 1962, Darrell remained in sole charge. The company soon won a high reputation for the drama, humour and individuality of its productions. In 1969 the company accepted an invitation to move its base to Glasgow, where it became Scottish Theatre Ballet and later, in recognition of a widening repertoire and purpose, Scottish Ballet.
Today, to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Cafe arts programme (1.15-2.00pm) will discuss why Peter Darrell was such an important figure in the dance world. Also later this evening, at 10.00pm BBC2 Scotland will broadcast Peter Darrell – Scotland’s Dance Pioneer, featuring some material from the Scottish Theatre Archive.
You can find out more about Peter Darrell on the Scottish Theatre Archive Collection Description page.
Additional information can be found on the website of The Peter Darrell Trust: formed in 1994 to preserve and promote the works of the late Peter Darrell CBE.