Albert-Reiner Glaap: In Memory

It is with great sadness to hear the noted Ayckbourn scholar Prof. Dr. Albert-Reiner Glaap OBE died peacefully on 24 April 2023. He was a passionate and insightful advocate of the playwright and his plays.

He wrote a number of books about Alan Ayckbourn as well as German translations of his plays and had a long friendship with the playwright himself.

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Prof. Dr. Albert-Reiner Glaap

From a personal perspective, he was a friend, an inspiration and a great support of my work as Alan’s Archivist. It was a privilege to be invited to work with him on several of his books and to get to know such a warm and generous man. I will miss him enormously.

Albert wrote – amongst many other works – A Guided Tour Through Ayckbourn Country (1999/2004); New Landmarks in Ayckbourn Country (2004); Confusions To Roundelay – Stages In Ayckbourn’s Creative Work (2015); Towards Ayckbournia in Germany (2019) as well as a number of translations. He often joked how difficult it was to translate many of Alan’s titles into German leading to many creative solutions!

Born on 1 September 1929 in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel, Albert studied English language and literature, Latin and philosophy at the University of Cologne and at King’s College, London, where he was one of the first German students to arrive after the war.

In Cologne, he received his doctorate in 1955 and from 1958 to 1973 he worked as a teacher at the Luisen-Gymnasium Düsseldorf and in 1961/62 at the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, PA (USA). In 1971, he took up the position as head of the Düsseldorf teacher seminar and as a professor at the University of Education in Neuss in 1973, where he taught and researched until 1980. This was followed by a professorship at the Heinrich Heine University, which he held until his retirement in 1994.

His research in theatre with special attention to Canada and the United Kingdom always focused on how texts could be made accessible to students and pupils. His special focus on the English playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn made him one of the world’s most recognised experts on the playwright and his efforts for the English language, literature and culture were honoured by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 with his appointment as OBE (Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire).

In addition to research interests in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Canada was a special focus of his work. Together with playwrights and theater creators in Canada and Germany, Albert not only wrote and presented numerous books and essays on the Canadian contemporary drama, but also inspired German theatres to perform Canadian works. For his commitment to the Canadian theatre, he was appointed an honorary member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Albert’s publications included 269 essays and articles, nine monographs, 27 edited and edited books, 37 school editions and teacher’s booklets, 39 contributions to theatre programs and six published translations. He was a member of numerous academic societies and was vert active in the German-British Society Düsseldorf and the International Library Düsseldorf.

Albert was a passionate, thoughtful and incisive scholar who made significant contributions within his research, studies and writings. He will be missed as a scholar, a supporter of literature and theatre and as a friend.

In memory: Albert-Reiner Glaap (1 September 1929 – 24 April 2023)

With thanks to Michael Heinze for information relating to the life and career of Albert-Reiner Glaap and for all his work with and support of Albert.

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