Barry Grantham

[photo of Barry in costume]

Barry Grantham is a performer, director and teacher of Commedia and related physical theatre. His background is professional theatre; his maternal grandfather was a Music Hall artiste and his father a classical actor, who first aroused an interest in the Commedia dell'Arte in his son who, as a teenager, worked as mime artist and dancer.

Barry trained as a dancer with Itzykoffsky, a famous Harlequin in the Diaghilev Company and was coached by him in that role. He appeared with the Monte Carlo and other ballet companies and then worked as a solo mime and music hall artist touring world wide.

An early career working in almost every form of theatre from fringe and the experimental to the West End, and in films such as The Red Shoes and The Tales of Hoffman, prepared him for a return to his first love Commedia dell'Arte, and in the 1970's he began a series of workshops and performances at the Oval Theatre, and the City Lit, London, and formed the nucleus of the The Intention Commedia Company which has continued intermittently to give performances up to the present time.

[photo of Barry in costume]

More recently his work as an actor has included Shakespeare and period drama for television. His wealth of experience in so many aspects of theatre and dance has made him much in demand as advisor, director and teacher.

He has performed and given master classes in Norway, Sweden, Holland, Germany, and in Italy itself at the Theatro Municipiali Reggio Emilia. Recently he has made visits to Latvia and Estonia. He currently writes, directs and appears as a guest artist with various companies as well as running the Intention Commedia Company.

He is now recognised as a principal exponent of the traditional techniques of Commedia dell'Arte, both as performer and teacher. 

His books Playing Commedia and Commedia Plays (featuring some of his plays that will be familiar to some of you: The False Turk, Home from the Wars, and Pantalone Goes a Wooing) are published by Nick Hern Books.