Creative Person of the Week

8 Oct

Jack Birkett (June 1, 1934 – May 10, 2010) was a British dancer, mime artist, actor and singer, best known for his work on stage as a member of Lindsay Kemp’s theatre company, and in the films of Derek Jarman. He was often billed as Orlando or The Incredible Orlando. Most of his best-known work was done when he was totally blind.

He was born in Leeds. His mother came from a Romani family; his father left home when he was six. Birkett attended Coldcotes School in Gipton until the age of 14, developing a passion for ballet. He worked as an artist’s model for David Hockney and others, before finding work at the Grand Theatre in Leeds in 1950 as a stage hand and lighting technician. Soon afterwards, he moved to London, working as a dancer and singer in touring shows and musicals, including the UK tour of Oklahoma! in 1952

(Excerpt taken from )


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