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Leading Burnley actor dies

RESPECTED: Martin Starkie with Princess Margaret at the Phoenix Theatre, 1968. (S)

RESPECTED: Martin Starkie with Princess Margaret at the Phoenix Theatre, 1968. (S)

a RESPECTED actor, writer and director from Burnley has died.

Mr Martin Starkie, who was educated at Burnley Grammar School and Exeter College, Oxford, under the respected critic Nevill Coghill, died at the age of 87 on November 5th in London.

He attended Burnley Grammar School in the late 1930s and early 1940s. and lived in Manchester Road during his time in Burnley.

Mr Starkie was well-respected for his various disciplines in theatre, radio and television.

In 1946 he founded the Oxford University Poetry Society, and with Roy McNab edited the Oxford Poetry magazine in 1947. He made his name in the BBC’s The Third Programme and on television in the 1950s.

Trained for the stage at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) Mr Starkie made his Broadway debut as a director in Canterbury Tales in 1969.

He went on to write with Nevill Coghill and composers Richard Hill and John Hawkins, and to produce and direct Canterbury Tales, based on Nevill Coghill’s translation, first in Oxford, then in the West End, on Broadway and in Australia.

The Oxford University Poetry Society administers the annual Martin Starkie Prize in his honour.

His acting roles included The Resurrection and the Judgement, The Crucifixion, The Second Shepherd’s Play, Guilds and Pageants and Noah and the Flood.

His funeral took place last Friday at St John’s Church, Ladbroke Grove, London.

 

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