HOWARD DAVIES R.I.P. Founding member of SDUK

Piers Haggard remembers the supremely gifted director who gave up his evenings in 2014-15 to help establish SDUK.

I had met Howard a couple of times over the decades, a shy, courteous man whose rich and delicate work I admired inordinately. His capacity to combine sensuously beautiful stage pictures with an eloquent exploration of the heart of a play always commanded my total respect.

So I was particularly pleased when in the summer of 2014 Howard was one of the first big name directors to respond to my call to arms in setting up Stage Directors UK. And when I was assembling our first Board, he was one of those who stepped up the plate, and sat with other founding figures through all the early meetings that established and defined the SDUK mission.

Howard was completely generous of himself, hardly missing a meeting until he became unwell and moved out of London. It was obvious to him that British directors needed to start supporting each other if we were ever to improve their conditions and make a success of our new project.

I will never forget listening as this distinguished Associate Director of the National Theatre cheerfully shared details of his annual income with board members earning perhaps a tenth! He knew that old inhibitions had to be shed: being frank with fee information was going to be essential if we were ever to get better rates for all.

We miss him greatly. His commitment is an example to us all. We need to remember it now in our third year, as we move forward into the next phase, determined to make SDUK ever more able to defend British directors and their craft.


Piers Haggard / Chief Executive