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Peacock, David

Theatre administrator born in England, April 14, 1924, died in London, England, January 11, 2000. He was the son of a civil servant, his mother was French.

He served in the British forces during WWII and then was stage manager at the Royal Opera House. In 1951 he married Georgia Thorndike (niece of actor Sybil) and they moved to Canada in 1964. He was hired to direct the production course at the National Theatre School of Canada. In 1970 he became the school's general director. In 1972 he took over the arts division of the Canada Council.

He also served as advisor to the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, adjudicated for the Dominion Drama Festival and directed twice for the the Canadian Opera Company. He also advised regional companies across the country.

He divorced in 1978, and in 1981 moved back to Great Britain, where he was cultural coordinator for Canada House, and remarried.

He had seven children with his first wife, including actor Lucy Peacock.

He once said of Canadian theatre: "The main problem is that Canadians are impatient. They want instant identity and instant heritage, and they look to a country like England or France and feel they should have the sort of indigenous theatre they see there, entirely forgetting that Europe has more than 500 years to fall back on. Canadian theatre is not just an idea or a case of wishful thinking or a dream. It can be an established fact."

Source: Alan Hustak. "Peacock helped to shape Montreal theatre scene," Montreal Gazette, 19 Jan 2000.

Profile by Gaetan Charlebois.

Last updated 2011-07-09