Manfred Wekwerth (pictured centre with former Principal Alastair Pearce and Chair of Governors Margaret Morgan), Honorary Fellow of Rose Bruford College, died on the 16th July 2014. The College offers its deepest sympathies to his friends and family, especially his wife and companion in life and work, Renate Richter.
Manfred Wekwerth was engaged by Brecht in 1951 as a student at the Berliner Ensemble. Foremost among Brecht’s assistants and co-directors, he subsequently became principal director of the Berliner Ensemble under Helene Weigel. Important productions of that time were the premieres of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Days of the Commune and Coriolan. In 1969 he left the Berliner Ensemble and directed in other theatres in Germany and internationally (including Coriolanus at the National Theatre in London with Anthony Hopkins). In Berlin he founded and ran the first school of director-training. From 1977 to 1991 he returned to lead the Berliner Ensemble, receiving high honours in the GDR and from 1982 to 1990 was President of the Academy of Arts.
After leaving the Berliner Ensemble he lived and worked together with his wife, actress Renate Richter, as a freelance director. In 2000 he led a Symposium on Brecht at Rose Bruford College (with Tom Kuhn, the late John Willett, Jean Benedetti and Clive Barker) and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the College in 2002. Daring To Play: A Brecht Companion (Routledge, 2011), the first of his books to appear in English, translated by Rebecca Braun, was edited with an introduction by former Vice-Principal, Anthony Hozier.
His website is: https://www.manfredwekwerth.de