Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

November 2004

Life's a Stage...

...for Entity Theatre group founder Danny Strike

“I can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t interested in acting and theater,” says Danny Strike in his gentle southwest English accent. With his white hair, slightly on the wild side, and briefcase covered in smiley-face stickers, he has the distinctive look of an eccentric professor, albeit a friendly one.

Strike’s childhood was divided between Plymouth and Malta as his father was a sailor in the Royal Navy. Although never particularly academically inclined—that came later—he was passionate about sports and theater to the extent that these were the subjects that kept him interested as a schoolboy. He performed in biannual plays at school, and was also a keen rugby and cricket player. Indeed Strike is still an avid fan of both sports.

After finishing school Strike headed for the bright lights of St. Mary’s College, London, where he took his first degree in theater studies and philosophy. Later he completed a second degree in English literature. He took advantage of all London had to offer and was active on the fringe theater scene. In fact, Strike enjoyed England’s capital so much, he stuck around for a number of years after graduating and worked as a teacher. In his late 20s, he accepted a teaching job with the British Forces Schools in Germany, teaching drama and English in Mönchengladbach. This is where he founded and ran his first theater group, and the place where he met his English wife, Lynda. After having two children, Jamie and Lucy, the couple decided that they didn’t want to bring their kids up in a military environment, so applied for other jobs. Strike had originally hoped for a job in Brussels but instead ended up in Munich. That was 17 years ago and, with hindsight, he has no complaints whatsoever!

Today, Strike teaches theater, English and philosophy at the European School, and in his spare time runs the Entity Theatre Group. He cofounded the English-speaking group with Alison Sandford in 1999 on a number of principles: “We wanted a feeling of teamwork, to encourage creative potential and to focus on developing skills without losing sight of the fun aspect.” However, after their first year, Sandford had to leave the running of the group to Strike, who is quick to point out that Entity is a team and that he is supported by so many others, particularly his wife, Lynda: “I couldn’t have done it without her,” he says. “Although she doesn’t act herself, she helps a lot on the business side.” Indeed, it seems to be a successful collaboration. Entity has been going from strength to strength, and this year came second in the Festival of European Anglophone Theatre Societies (FEATS). Quite deservedly, the group’s director is basking in the glory of their achievements.

But nothing lasts forever. Strike is already thinking ahead to his retirement in four years, when he will most likely divide his time between the family home in Devon, England, and an apartment in Spain. He knows it will not be easy to leave Munich, which he describes as “small enough to retain a feeling that you can belong to it.” Always able to take a theatrical look at life around him, Strike says the city is “the perfect stage set” and talks of its “lovely cosmopolitan flair.” Outside theater his hobbies include walking and sailing, which he can also enjoy in abundance here. He is also an active member of “The English-Speaking Prisoners’ Support Group,” which works with prisoners in Bavaria.

As an indication of just how committed Strike is to Entity, he is already making preparations for his (reluctant) departure—training and passing on directing skills to Entity members in the hope that the group will continue when he retires. He will be downscaling his commitments after their next production to make time for other projects.

These projects and ambitions are numerous. He hopes to finish writing a one-man theater show, based on two famous poems, and perhaps perform it at next year’s FEATS festival. In addition, after pursuing a self-taught interest for some years and completing a film-directing course in Oxford earlier in the year, Strike wants to make a film using Entity actors. He would also like to act in a small production—perhaps he will be directed by the people whom he has trained. Whatever the future holds, it certainly doesn’t sound like Strike will be slowing down. “You hope to go on as long as you can,” he says. “I don’t think anyone should give in to age.”

Entity’s next production, An Experiment with an Air Pump by Shelagh Stephenson, directed by Danny Strike and Peter Bishop and produced by Crystal Martin, will be performed on January 27, 28, 29 and February 3, 4, 5, 25, 26, 2005. Check the Website for more information: If you are interested in joining Entity, contact Danny Strike at (089) 637 11 31.

tell a friend