Glen Byam Shaw

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Glen Byam Shaw (13 December 1904 – 29 April 1986) was an English actor and theatre director, known for his dramatic productions in the 1950s and his operatic productions in the 1960s and later.

In the 1920s and 1930s Byam Shaw was a successful actor, both in romantic leads and in character parts. He worked frequently with his old friend John Gielgud. After working as co-director with Gielgud at the end of the 1930s, he preferred to direct rather than act. He served in the armed forces during the Second World War, and then took leading directorial posts at the Old Vic, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and Sadler's Wells (later English National) Opera.

Among his best-known collaborators were Peggy Ashcroft, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Michael Redgrave in the theatre, and Colin Davis and Reginald Goodall in the opera house.

Life and career

Early years

Shaw was born Glencairn Alexander Byam Shaw in London, the fourth in the family of four sons and one daughter of the artist John Byam Liston Shaw and his wife, also an artist, (Caroline) Evelyn Eunice Pyke-Nott (1870–1959).Denison, Michael, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2007, accessed 25 June 2011 He was educated at Westminster School where his contemporaries included his elder brother James Byam Shaw, later a well-known art historian, and John Gielgud, who became a lifelong friend and professional...
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