Joan Littlewood made her name after co-founding the Theatre Workshop in 1945. From its base in Stratford East the workshop began transforming British theatre with productions such as A Taste of Honey and The Hostage. Under Littlewood’s direction, Theatre Workshop achieved a highly visual ensemble style that challenged staid conventions; for Littlewood theatre was meant to be a vibrant encounter between stage and spectator. Ensemble playing was the bedrock of the company’s work and ethos. Her final production, Oh! What a Lovely War (1963) was the most significant piece of devised theatre to reach the mainstream British stage.