Photographer Dr Richard Sadler Honoured By Belgrade Theatre
The Belgrade Theatre has honoured Dr Richard Sadler, who worked as the theatre’s official photographer from 1958 to 1994, by naming a seat after him in the venue’s 858 seat auditorium.
The seat, which features an engraved plaque in honour of the photographer’s 36 year service, has been unveiled this week along with an ornamental clock face dedicated to the photographer that forms part of a public art piece on display in the Theatre’s foyer.
As the Belgrade Theatre approaches its 60th anniversary, Coventry company, Photo Archive Miners, have been specially commissioned to digitise Sadler’s Belgrade Theatre collection which includes a vast archive of over 1,200 images, documenting the theatre’s history.
Dr Richard Sadler is a highly regarded photographer who spent much of his career on commercial and artistic projects, capturing life in Coventry. His extensive body of work includes photographs of working life at Courtaulds, a fabric and clothing factory in Foleshill. He also captured images of Hillfields at a time of significant change post-Second World War including photos of his grandmother, Minnie Sadler in 1951.
Hamish Glen, Artistic Director for the Belgrade Theatre, said, “Richard’s photographs are an extraordinary and invaluable record of the theatre’s history and people from its very early days.”
During his time at the Belgrade Theatre he photographed many famous faces early on in their careers, including David Suchet, Irene Handl, Susan Hill, Robert Lindsay, Leslie Grantham and Rosemary Leach. He went on to become a lecturer at Derby University where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
Photo Archive Miner Jason Scott Tilley said, “It has been a great privilege to search through thousands of photographs of one of the country’s most distinguished photographers. Richard is a true craftsman and his sense of theatre shines through in his photography. The archive he has amassed is of great significance not only to The Belgrade but to Coventry as a whole. We would like to thank photography students from Coventry University who engaged with us on this project and have helped during the digitisation process.”
The Photo Archive Miners work to repurpose photographic collections and curate exhibitions that tell the hidden stories within communities. They recently curated the Masterji & Coventry exhibition at Fargo Creative Village as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture bid 2021.
It is hoped that the work of the Photo Archive Miners will culminate in an exciting project bringing the history of the Belgrade to life in 2018 to celebrate its 60 year anniversary since being the first civic theatre in Britain to open after the Second World War.
Anyone can name a seat in the Belgrade’s Main Auditorium for a £250 donation to the theatre which goes towards the theatre’s charitable work. To name a seat, please contact the Belgrade Theatre Development Team on 024 7684 6758 or by email email@example.com.