After a successful career as an actress, Thelma Holt, in partnership with Charles Marowitz, founded the Open Space Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, which became the forerunner of the London fringe.
In 1977, she joined the Round House in Chalk Farm as Artistic and Executive Director. There she instigated a policy of bringing the best of regional theatre to London, introducing, amongst others, the work of:
She gave London the opportunity to see some of the successful productions initiated at the Edinburgh Festival. Other visiting companies included:
In 1983 the Round House closed and Thelma Holt joined the Theatre of Comedy as Executive Producer where she produced LOOT by Joe Orton directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Leonard Rossiter.
(For more information on Thelma Holt at both the Open Space and at the Round House, see VAULTING AMBITIONS by Jennie Schiele, to be published 2004)
In 1985 Thelma Holt joined the National Theatre as Head of Touring and Commercial Exploitation.
She was responsible for the following West End transfers:
She was also responsible for major tours of National Theatre productions to:
Thelma Holt produced INTERNATIONAL 87, a series of four visits to the National Theatre by international theatre companies:
For this international season Thelma Holt received the Olivier/Observer Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre and a special award from Drama Magazine.
In 1998 she co-produced THE FAIRY QUEEN by Purcell directed by Adrian Noble for the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Thelma Holt produced INTERNATIONAL 89, a second series of four visits to the National Theatre by international theatre companies:
For the newly-formed Peter Hall Company Thelma Holt was Executive Producer for:
by Tennessee Williams
cast included Vanessa Redgrave
presented at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
by William Shakespeare
cast included Dustin Hoffman
presented at the Phoenix Theatre and in New York
THE WILD DUCK
by Henrik Ibsen
cast included Alex Jennings, David Threlfall, Nichola McAuliffe
presented at the Phoenix Theatre
Thelma Holt was Executive Producer for Triumph Proscenium's production of Pirandello's HENRY IV starring Richard Harris, which was presented in 1990 at Wyndham's Theatre, London.
In 1990 she also presented two visiting productions at the National Theatre:
by William Shakespeare
The Bulandra Theatre Company from Bucharest
THE KINGDOM OF DESIRE
(based on Shakespeare's MACBETH)
The Contemporary Legend Theatre from Taiwan
Thelma Holt Ltd. was formed in 1990. (See Company History)