Danny Strike is an English-born actor, director, playwright, philosopher and poet. During the 35 years he lived in Germany, he founded two different theatre companies (one of which was Entity Theatre), taught English, Philosophy and Drama at the European School, and made Entity a major force in the Munich and Europe-wide theatre scenes. He then returned to England to co-found yet another theatre company, Pilot’s Thumb, that has launched a series of highly successful plays. In this fascinating interview, Danny talks about what he has learned, some of the mistakes he has made, and how theatre helped open the doors for him to a richer and fuller life..
Danny Strike was born in Plymouth and divided much of his childhood between there and Malta as his father was a sailor in the Royal Navy. He had little interest for academic subjects at first. His passion and focus were on acting in school plays and being the best rugby and cricket player possible. This experience of the importance of team became a foundational element for the rest of his life.
The bright lights and rich theatre scene in London drew him to enrol at St. Mary’s College. Recognizing a need for balance between action and thought, he chose for his first degree Theatre Studies and Philosophy and was active on the fringe theatre scene for a number of years.
In 1974 he moved to Mönchengladbach, Germany to take a job with The British Forces Schools where he worked in a dynamic English department teaching Drama and English and obtained a second degree in English literature from London University. He met and married his wife Lynda there and, while helping raise two children, founded and ran his first theatre group, Kent Players, taking the name from the school he worked at. Although it was a full and satisfying life, Danny and his wife decided they did not want to raise their kids in a military environment.
In 1987 Danny moved to Munich to take a job at the European School teaching English, Philosophy and Drama. In 2000 he cofounded the English-speaking Entity Theatre Group. Danny expressed his core principle this way: “We wanted a feeling of teamwork, to encourage creative potential and to focus on developing skills without losing sight of the fun aspect.” Combining writing, directing and acting skills, Danny helped Entity become a major force in the Munich and Europe-wide theatre scenes.
Danny retired from the European School in 2009 and returned to his family home in Plymouth, England, wasting no time at all before partnering with two actresses there to create a new acting group, Pilot’s Thumb. With tireless passion and energy they launched a series of highly successful plays written by Danny and/or devised by the company, plays that explored topical social issues such as press intrusion, gender and euthanasia. The plays never advocated a particular answer – the audiences were left to make up their own minds. The plays rather embedded issues in narratives performed by sharply observed characters and leavened with edgy humour.
Continuing his life-long commitment to team, he has created a synergy with his fellow actors that has resulted in performances far stronger than anything they could have done individually.
Danny is fond of saying, “I don’t think anyone should give in to age.” That’s very clear in the impressive list of current projects that you can find at Pilot’s Thumb here: www.pilotsthumb.com
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All Things Theatre podcast episode 6
Title: Finding Life Through Theatre
Guest: Danny Strike
Host: Roger Voight
You can contact the podcast creators at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the comment form below.
Photo: Provided by Pilot’s Thumb
Graphics: Katrin Fegert (Drama icon: Aham Brahma)
Support: Bogdan Tabacaru
This episode of the All Things Theater podcast is brought to you by Entity Theatre’s production of The Dark – A Halloween Radio Play (directed by Jim Nellis, produced by Katrin Fegert), performing live 28–31 October 2021 at Amerikahaus München. WNTT Radio Theatre presents some of the scariest, creepiest, most shocking short stories from the deepest catacombs of radio plays adapted to the stage. The audience will be stage-side as the WNTT broadcast team streams live news, weather, sports, and our featured ensemble cast performing classic programs from the frightening days of radio. Listeners at home can tune in to the LIVE broadcast on Halloween night. https://entitytheatre.com/the-dark-a-halloween-radio-play