Terry Lane: Book I had to write

The Arts
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terry_lane_portraitA HELENSBURGH man who for many years was instrumental in selling other people's books to townsfolk is now hoping that they will buy his new book.

Terry Lane has written the biography of the doyen of the small theatre movement he always wanted to write, “The Full Round — the several lives and theatrical legacy of Stephen Joseph”, and it is available at the shop he founded, Bookworms in East Clyde Street.

Terry was born in Woodford in 1937 but now lives and works as a portrait painter in oils in Panicale, Italy. However his background is the theatre, as it was for his late wife Ros.

In 1962 as founder, he designed, built and was manager and first artistic director of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh; in its day one of the most important avant-garde theatres in Britain.

He then directed independently for the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in Boumemouth and Cardiff, and was director at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham.

He directed the pilot Theatre Go Round production for the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, but at the beginning of the 1970’s he and Ros moved to Helensburgh where they started their own very successful bookshop.

Terry explained how he came to write the book, which is published by Duca della Corgna at £15. “It started out as a PhD thesis about 15 years ago,” he said.

“But events overtook us, we took over the Milngavie bookshop, and there wasn't time in the week to research and write.

“The book went on the back burner, but after Ros's death in 2005 I knew I had to publish what I had written. It was an obligation to us both.

“Without us both having worked with Stephen for six years I would not have had the experience or maybe the desire to start my own theatre, the Traverse Theatre, and I could not have accomplished it without Ros\s very considerable help.”

Terry (pictured above in a self-portrait) says that, while it is a 'theatre book', it is funny and heart-tugging. He added: “My book is a tale of awful parents, family politics, amorous encounters, institutional intrigue and boardroom battles.”