Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

G. Laurence Harbottle 1924-2015

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

G. Laurence Harbottle 1924-2015

Article excerpt

Dapper is not a word you hear often nowadays, but it is somehow fitting for Laurence Harbottle, who was always immaculately dressed: a lawyer, yes, but very much the theatrical image of a lawyer, as is appropriate. For nearly forty years he occupied the honorary post of legal adviser to the Society for Theatre Research, in which capacity he was always courteously available to successive generations of the Society's officers. His deft guidance to Theatre Notebook on the intricacies of copyright was particularly valuable. His death came only a couple of weeks before he was due to hand on his mantle to a new legal adviser.

As co-founder of the country's leading media and entertainment legal practice, Harbottle and Lewis, Laurence had a major role in many aspects of post-war British theatre history, whether as President of the Theatrical Management Association, a post he held for seven years, member of the Arts Council, first chairman of Theatre Centre, Prospect Productions, Cambridge Theatre Company and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and sometime chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Theatres Trust and the Central School of Speech and Drama, or as the representative of theatre and entertainment luminaries from Laurence Olivier (a dear personal friend) to John Cleese and Chris Evans. …

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