Entertainment & Arts

Alan Dossor, Liverpool Everyman boss during 70s heyday, dies

Alan Dossor Image copyright Liverpool John Moores University
Image caption Under Dossor, the Everyman was known for plays that reflected real life in the city

Alan Dossor, the theatre director who gave actors including Julie Walters, Bill Nighy and Pete Postlethwaite their big breaks at the Liverpool Everyman in the 1970s, has died.

Dossor, 74, was artistic director of the venue from 1970-75.

He nurtured a group of actors and writers that also included Antony Sher, Alison Steadman, Matthew Kelly, Willy Russell and Jonathan Pryce.

Speaking in 2011, Pryce said: "People were taken care of. It was a family."

The actor told the BBC: "You look back on it and think, yes, it was an extraordinary time. For a lot of us, it formed the way we approached our work."

Dossor was credited with attempting to reflect real life in the region and drawing the city's population in, leading to a golden age for the venue in the eyes of citizens and critics.

Anti-establishment

"The idea was to tackle the political establishment," Pryce said. "There were lots of targets at the time, and it was felt that it was possible to do things at a local level."

Dossor's shows included a documentary musical about former Liverpool MP Bessie Braddock, a play based on interviews with real-life factory workers facing redundancy and others examining sexual politics and family strife.

He also directed Willy Russell's John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert, which went on to give the theatre its first West End transfer.

In a statement, the Everyman said: "The legacy of the work he made and great actors he discovered and nurtured will burn brightly for generations to come.

"He was a unique and generous spirit and those of us fortunate to stand upon his shoulders will be forever grateful. We'll miss his genius, his honesty and his wicked sense of humour."


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