Michael Gaunt

Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

I shall be directing Darren Funnell’s new play A Streak of Pride which will be given 5 performances in Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre’s Mill Studio Theatre between 18-20 October

I continue to research the acting styles of late eighteenth and nineteenth century actors who acted on both sides of the Atlantic.

I gave a talk for the Richmond Local History Group entitled Edmund Kean (1787-1833): Shakespearean Actor and Richmond Theatre Manager. At his death Kean was placed in one of the vaults in the Parish Church. The talk took place on 12 March 2018 at Duke Street Church in Richmond, Surrey.

On February 23rd 2018 The Royal Society of Arts William Shipley History Group held a one day Symposium to mark the tercentenary of David Garrick’s birth – The Undisputed Monarch of the Stage, David Garrick (1717-1779). I was invited to take part and my paper discussed Garrick’s Acting and Techniques and how these may have been absorbed by following generations of actors, that is, Garrick’s successors. The paper was repeated in May as a Library Talk for Garrick Club members.

I directed Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea presented by the new management TTA Productions and the play ran for a week in June at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Mill Studio Theatre. The production attracted good houses and reviews ‘… Director Michael Gaunt has produced an exquisite evening’s theatre so appreciated by the audience…’ (Pauline Surrey, NODA).

Earlier in the year I was invited to become a committee member of the Terence Rattigan Society (TRS) with responsibility for [vocational] drama school liaison.

The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama will receive TRS funding towards the production of a play by Terence Rattigan in March 2018. The award has been made possible by the Harold and Pegs French Fund which the TRS administers.

On the 26th September the Terence Rattigan Society announced the winner of its Play Writing Competition in the Ryan Theatre at Harrow School: first prize £2500. The Society received 191 submissions and I directed two short readings from the plays that came first and second.

Following on from the success of his Edwin Booth, A Biography and Performance History published by McFarland & Co. in 2013 my friend Arthur Bloom’s new biography, which has the American actor Edwin Forrest as its subject, is in an advanced state. As with the Booth biography I am offering editorial support.

While on the subject of biographies my friend Miranda Brooke’s Renee Houston, Spirit of the Irresistibles published last year has been selling steadily. I was lucky to be asked to direct Renee in a UK tour of Ladies in Retirement in 1968 and was able to provide Miranda with some information about this special actress. Information about the actress and Miranda's book can be found on reneehoustonsite.wordpress.com and the book may be acquired via tempesttime7777@gmail.com.

In September, I was elected to the Library Committee of the Garrick Club.