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Society Spotlight: Alec Riddett

Society Spotlight: Alec Riddett

Alec Riddett was the Artistic Director of Harborough Theatre for more than 20 years.

At an early age he took an apprenticeship with a design company who paid for him to attend Leicester Collage of Arts. He met his wife touring Leicestershire performing in village halls. Alec became a member of Harborough Theatre in 1957 in the same year he made his acting debut and helped design his first set.

Alec was a talented set designer, during his time at Harborough Theatre he and his team built most of the sets for productions. He was highly praised for his work, one The Leicester Mercury reviewer said “the set created was a masterpiece – one of the best amateur play sets I have ever seen.” Whilst Artistic Director, Alec lead much of the theatre’s large building renovations, without him the theatre wouldn’t look the same! Alec’s son, prominent Cinematographer, Dave Alex Riddett, spoke highly of his dad during an interview in 2022.

“My father loved creating, he was a painter, designer and an incredible photographer. He managed all of his creative desires into a quite unusual lifestyle. He was never satisfied to stay on one job for very long, he was always doing something and I think that was quite an inspiration to me in that you could indulge yourself in things you liked. Growing up in this lovely hub of creativity in the theatre, I’m sure shaped a lot of the things I did later on.”

In the late 1980s, after occupying the role for over two decades, Alec stepped down as Artist Director to focus on other work. In 2008, Alec Riddett peacefully died at his home.

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