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  • Reference
  • Title
    Angelique Rockas Letters
  • Date
    1980 - 1992
  • Date from
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  • Scope and Content
    A collection of letters to South African born Greek actress/producer Angelique Rockas. Rockas was born in Bocksburg to Greek parents who left Greece and migrated to South Africa. She attained an honours degree in English Literature at Wits University, Johannesburg and went on to study acting at Cape Town University. Her anti-apartheid activism forced her to leave South Africa and come to the UK. Rockas began working for Greek Cypriot theatre company Theatro Technis in North London. The theatre was founded to explore political and social issues that touched the Greek cypriot community as well as bringing performances of classical Greek tragedy and comedy to London audiences. Rockas went on to found Internationalist Theatre with Athol Fugard as a patron. Its aims were revolutionary. In an interview with Angelique Rockas defined its mission:- 'Internationalist Theatre was created to break racial and cultural barriers, perform great classical plays as well as more contemporary ones that dealt with issues and situations that cut across regional, national, racial and sexist barriers performed by a company of actors and actresses from all nationalities and races; a demonstration of the harmonious collaboration of different peoples towards a common aesthetic, social and moral goal' It was the first multi-national/racial theatre company to present the work of renowned European dramatists such as Brecht, Genet, Pirandello, to UK audiences. As well as producing, Angelique Rockas attracted admiration as an actress for her strong interpretation of roles such as 'Yvette' in Brecht's 'Mother Courage'; 'Carmen' in Jean Genet's 'The Balcony'; 'Anabella' in John Ford's ' 'Tis Pity She's A Whore' as well as 'Medea', 'Miss Julie' and 'Lady Macbeth'. Not confined to theatre acting, Rockas appeared in the Peter Hyams film Outland (1981); Oh Babylon (1989) directed by Costas Ferris; Nicolas Roeg's The Witches (1990 ); and a 12 part Greek TV series Emmones Idees (tx 1989). This collection includes letters from Lindsay Anderson, Julie Christie, Elia Kazan and Derek Jarman. Angelique Rockas sent Julie Christie a copy of her script 'Ayoni and Ismeta' set in the Balkans conflict, asking her to consider the part of Ismeta. Christie replied with a four page letter giving her thoughts. Elia Kazan correspondence relates to the setting up of a meeting with Frixos Constanti, a film financier who he hoped may show interest in a film he was working on. In brief letters Derek Jarman discusses the opening for his film The Tempest (1979); his recovery from TB; possible part for AR in his unrealised project 'Pansy' Related Resources: Rockas' papers relating to the Internationalist Theatre and Theatro Technis, as well as correspondence with notable theatre practitioners, film directors and religious figures is held by the British Library (reference code: Add MS 89244) Material is also held by the Scottish Theatre Archive (reference code: GB 247 STA (APO1a)) and the Akademie Der Kunste (reference: BBA-Theaterdoku 782)
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