James Maxwell

James Maxwell (23 March 1929 – 18 August 1995) was an American actor, theatre director and writer, particularly associated with the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, but spent most of his career in the United Kingdom and died in London. He came to England at the age of 20 to train at the Old Vic theatre school. While there he met fellow students Casper Wrede and Richard Negri (co-founders of the Royal Exchange 25 years later). After seasons at the Bristol Old Vic and the Piccolo Theatre in Manchester he started to collaborate with the directors Michael Elliott and Casper Wrede, initially with the 59 Theatre Company. He translated Georg Buchner’s Danton's Death for the opening production at the Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith). Elliott and Wrede went on to run the Old Vic company and Maxwell joined them to act in several of the productions including The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. The group then joined with Braham Murray in Manchester to form the 69 Theatre Company. Maxwell adapted Daniel Deronda; directed by Elliott and starring Vanessa Redgrave it was subsequently televised.


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