In Memory: Lisle Jones. 1929-2019


Lisle Jones

November 2nd 1929 – December 25th 2019


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

                                                                                                                        Albert Einstein


It is with genuine sadness that we let you know of the passing of Lisle Jones, who died at his home in Melbourne, Australia on Christmas Day. He was 90 years old.

Lisle first worked as a teacher at ArtsEd in 1969 when it was known as the Arts Educational Schools and based at Piccadilly in London’s West End.  During the mid 1970s, in collaboration with Brain Cook and Hilary Wood, he was instrumental in establishing the full-time Acting course, for which he subsequently became the programme leader.

An experienced practitioner as both an actor and a director, as well as a dedicated and resourceful teacher, Lisle brought immense passion and commitment to his work – always exacting the highest standards of rigour and professionalism in all of his students.

Determined to ensure that the Acting course achieved national and international recognition for excellence, he secured full accreditation for the programme when the National Council of Drama Training (NCDT) undertook its first tranche of validation visits in 1979/80. This was no mean feat for a relatively new course and in later years other drama schools would look to ArtsEd as an example of best practice in the vocational training sector.

With a sharp eye for talent and always determined to attract the best possible practitioners to come and deliver the training for his students, Lisle recruited the likes of Declan Donnellan to teach acting and direct performances, Patsy Rodenburg to teach voice, Mary Hammond to teach singing, as well as Ben Benison, Roddy Maude- Roxby and Ric Morgan to teach improvisation.

In January 1983, Lisle was invited to return to his homeland, Australia, as Head of Acting at the newly formed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), where once again he played a major role in helping to shape the careers of some of the world’s most accomplished theatre and film practitioners.

A genuinely warm and kind human being as well as an astute and highly skilled practitioner, Lisle had an immense influence on the careers of many, many actors and theatre practitioners. His wonderful enthusiasm combined with an immense energy and seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.


David Shirley – January 2020