Rough Theatre 1974-1978
In our 1970s heyday the great photographer Phil Wolmuth, who died at home following cancer on February 21st, was Rough Theatre’s guitar-player. There weren’t many songs in the two shows he worked on: patience was a virtue that informed his whole life as a campaigner for justice. He took the time to get alongside people and earn their trust. Of all of us Phil changed the least - his warm, kindly presence and droll sense of humour informed his conversation and his work. John commissioned two great albums for the Greenhill Aphasia Group in Newham from him while he and Tony, of whom Phil made several action portraits, would meet at Speakers Corner. He’s gone too soon and we’ll miss him.
Stuart Golland and Tony Allen in Free Milk and Orange Juice
Rough Theatre Archive
Rough Theatre was a 1970s fringe theatre company (1973 – 1979) noted for its blend of comedy and radical politics (anarchist – naughty tendency).
Rough Theatre was formed early in 1974 by John Miles and Tony Allen who had met in the Summer of 73 working in West London Theatre Workshop’s Adventure playground kids show Badman Rides Again. They shared a spiky adult sense of humour, happy to attack the bureaucratic and humourless left and the bigoted and compassionless right. Squat Now While Stocks Last (the street play of the Graffiti) was their first play and was a tidied up version of a noisy ironic sketch - Story of a Poor Landlord written for WLTW and which grew out of the group's penchant for all-singing all-dancing slogan-chanting clowning cum oompah band style of larky behaviour they favoured on political demonstrations.