A celebration of photographer Richard Sadler's long partnership with the Belgrade Theatre

Since learning of the sad loss of Richard Sadler, we’ve been reflecting on the incredible body of work he undertook with us as photographer for the Belgrade Theatre from 1958-1994.

Richard joined the Belgrade as a photographer the same year the theatre opened in 1958, built as part of the large-scale redevelopment of the city in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Belgrade was the UK’s first civic theatre, and its founding ethos – to serve as a hub for the community, a welcoming space for everyone to enjoy – can be seen even in the design of the building, with its open, public foyers and café – both major innovations for a theatre at the time.

Before becoming part of the Belgrade family, Richard had begun his career as a commercial photographer, developing his skills with Armstrong Whitworth and Courtaulds. At this point, Coventry was still a growing city with booming industry and higher than average wages – so manufacturing was a natural place to start! He was successful and before long, he had become joint MD of a colour laboratory and headed an independent studio.