Research - theatre and performance collections
This page is under development
All suggestions as to content gratefully received.
Research - theatre and performance collections
This page is under development
All suggestions as to content gratefully received.
links to the URLs of theatre and performance collections
Material, including diaries and contracts, relating to the theatrical career of Alfred H. Rivers. An actor and stage manager, he worked for many companies, including those of Wilson Barrett, Fred Terry, and John Martin Harvey. This is a collection of his own which covers his life in the theatre, the companies with which he worked, and also some memorabilia relating to the career of his parents, actors Jonathon Dewhurst and Frances Rivers. Archive reference number: THM/204. (12 boxes)
Akademi, formerly known as the Academy of Indian Dance, was formed in 1979, since when it has been at the forefront of developments in South Asian dance in Britain. These are the archives of the company from 1980 to 2000, including financial records; material relating to staff and personnel (including dancers' contracts); correspondence; material relating to the trustees and committees; administrative records. The archive also includes material relating to funding, and to education, training and performances. Archive reference number: THM/122.
Papers relating to the management of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne, mid-late 19th century, when under the direction of Alfred Davis and Edward Dean. The collection consists mainly of letters from playwrights and actors accepting or seeking employment; some letters have engraved headings or even small photographs of the actor concerned, and there are some promotion leaflets for individual actors. The letters include much information about terms of employment and salaries. Correspondents include Scribe, Cushman, Chippendale, Fitzball, Fechter, Planche and H J Byron. Archive reference number: THM/84. (4 boxes)
Alfred Fagon was one of the key black British playwrights of the 1970s and 1980s, part of the upsurge of black playwrighting at that time. The collection contains manuscripts of plays and of his poetry, as well as pamphlets and various texts with handwritten notes. It also contains Fagon's notebooks and some correspondence. Archive reference number: THM/89.
Papers, correspondence, scripts, photographs, mostly relating to the Alhambra Theatre under the management of Alfred Moul. Alfred Moul left a job in the tea trade in order to devote himself to music and was for a time a music critic in Melbourne. In 1894 he was asked to take over the Alhambra Theatre, and apart from a break from 1898-1902, he ran the theatre successfully and profitably until his retirement. The collection includes correspondence and photographs, mainly pre 1914, covering the administration of the Alhambra and the booking of the variety acts, ballets and revues. Included are letters from agents, proposing and describing various acts, and information relating to salaries, bookings etc. Archive reference Number: THM/75.
Programmes and records relating to the career of Alice Delysia. Born in Paris in 1889, Delysia became a revue star, appearing in Paris, London and New York. She also appeared in musical plays. Archive reference number: THM/95. (1 box)
Two scrapbooks containing newspaper cuttings relating to theatre and dating from the beginning of the 20th century, collected by Aline Doxford. This is a general collection and does not relate to any specific genre or performer. Archive reference number: THM/87. (2 boxes)
Allan Wilkie lead the Allan Wilkie Shakespeare Company with Frediswyde Hunter-Watts and this collection includes material relating to the company's tours of Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Material relating to the career of Allan Wilkie, including photographs, programmes, posters, and playbills. Archive reference number: THM/266.
Cuttings albums containing newspaper reviews and articles on productions and theatrical personalities, 1877-1914, productions principally in New York, but also in the provinces. The majority of productions covered are American, but British productions and personalities on tour in America are also covered. Archive reference number: THM/143. (66 boxes)
The archive consists of a series of folders arranged chronologically containing autobiographical notes, photographs, drawings, manuscript letters, programmes and other material relating to Charlot's life and career. There are also several boxes of oversize material including original sketches, posters, and music sheet covers.
The collection comprises production and studio sessions taken by Anthony Crickmay between 1961 and 1987. The major part records dance and ballet productions, with special emphasis on the major classical and contemporary dance companies in Britain. However, some major companies visiting Britain from abroad are also covered, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and especially Nederlands Dans Theater and the National Ballet of Canada. Many companies also sent their individual stars to his studio, both for dance publicity pictures and portraits. Crickmay also experimented with new ways of capturing movement. During the 1960s and 1970s he photographed at the National Theatre, including the Jonathan Miller/Laurence Olivier productions of 'The merchant of Venice' and 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead', and covered productions in the West End and at the Royal Court. This collection consists of photographs from around 3500 photographic sessions. Archive reference number: THM/111.
Designs for the decoration of the Theatre Museum foyer by Anthony Holland. This collection contains proposed designs as well as realised ones. Included are plans and elevations. Archiev reference number: THM/155. (2 boxes)
Programmes annotated by Anthony Masters, drama and opera critic. These programmes were annotated by him during performances, as aide memoires for when he was writing his notices. Archive reference number: THM/194. (5 boxes)
Four scrapbooks compiled by Anton Dolin or his family and recording Dolin's stage career between the years 1916 and 1937. The scrapbooks mainly contain press cuttings, photographs, programmes and illustrations. Archive reference number: THM/11 (4 volumes) Biographical/historical: Trained by Seraphine Astafieva and Bronislava Nijinska, Anton Dolin began his professional career in 1921 when he joined Diaghilev's Ballets russes. He became a soloist in 1924, dancing leading roles in many productions, including Nijinska's Le train bleu. Apart from a gap in 1927 when he briefly set up his own company with Vera Nemtchinova, Dolin remained with the Ballets russes until Diaghilev's death in 1929. He subsequently worked as dancer and choreographer with most of the leading ballet companies, including the Vic-Wells ballet (now the Royal Ballet), and Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre). In 1935 he formed the Markova- Dolin company with Dame Alicia Markova, eventually forming London's Festival Ballet with her in 1950, where he remained as premier danseur and artistic director until 1961.
Thirty nine scrapbooks compiled by Anton Dolin or his family and recording Dolin's stage career between the years 1926-1952. The scrapbooks mainly contain press cuttings, photographs, programmes, and illustrations. Archive reference number: THM/12 (39 scrapbooks) Trained by Seraphine Astafieva and Bronislava Nijinska, Anton Dolin began his professional career in 1921 when he joined Diaghilev's Ballets russes. He became a soloist in 1924, dancing leading roles in many productions, including Nijinska's Le train bleu. Apart from a gap in 1927 when he briefly set up his own company with Vera Nemtchinova, Dolin remained with the Ballets russes until Diaghilev's death in 1929. He subsequently worked as dancer and choreographer with most of the leading ballet companies, including the Vic-Wells ballet (now the Royal Ballet), and Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre). In 1935 he formed the Markova- Dolin company with Dame Alicia Markova, eventually forming London's Festival Ballet with her in 1950, where he remained as premier danseur and artistic director until 1961.
Material collected by Antony Hippisley Coxe relating to circus worldwide, animal training and fairground entertainment. This collection includes much material relating to the Clarke family (of Powell and Clarke's Great Circus). Archive reference number: THM/168. (51 boxes)
The Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts was established in January 1940 as a result of an informal conference held at the Board of Education in December 1939. The initial objective of the Committee was to give financial assistance to cultural societies finding it difficult to maintain their activities during the War. In 1940 the Committee, enlarged by the inclusion of several new members, was formally appointed as the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) by Lord De La Warr, president of the Board of Education. The new Council began to receive direct funding from the government. In 1945 it was announced that CEMA would continue as a permanent peace time body under the name The Arts Council of Great Britain and a Royal Charter of Incorporation was granted in 1946. The main objective of the Council was to develop accessibility to, and greater knowledge, understanding and practice of, the fine arts. The Arts Council's government grant was administered by the Treasury until 1965, and then by the Department of Education and Science. The Arts Council operated under the 1946 Charter until 1967 when a new Charter of Incorporation was granted: this redefined the objectives of the Arts Council as "to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts, to increase the accessibility of the arts to the public throughout Great Britain and to advise and co-operate with departments of Government, local authorities and other bodies on any matters concerned, whether directly or indirectly, with the foregoing objectives". In 1994 the Arts Council of Great Britain was split to become the Arts Council of England, Arts Council of Scotland and Arts Council of Wales. Even before this date, Scotland and Wales were virtually autonomous as, under the 1967 Charter, the functions of the Arts Council of Great Britain in Scotland and Wales had been carried out by two committees known as the Scottish Arts Council and the Welsh Arts Council. At the time of its division into three separate Arts Councils, the Arts Council of Great Britain consisted of three parts, the Council itself, the advisory bodies and the executive. The Council was the governing body for the organisation and, when it determined that it was necessary, it appointed separate advisory panels and committees to provide it with specialist advice. The first advisory bodies appeared in 1942 when panels were set up for Music, Art and Drama, but their number rapidly increased as the organisation developed. The chief executive officer of the Arts Council of Great Britain was the secretary-general. He was appointed by the Council, who could also appoint other officers. Initially this paid staff was small, but it grew rapidly. In 1980 there were 266 staff in England, divided between sections dealing with press and education and eight departments, responsible for Art, Dance, Drama, Finance, Literature, Music, Personnel and Administration and Regional matters. During the 1980s and 1990s the executive underwent many reorganisations and, in March 1994, it had 19 departments and units divided between three divisions. Scotland and Wales had separate but similar executives which serviced the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils. The Arts Council of Great Britain supported the arts with advice and subsidies. Until the mid-1980s it also undertook a certain amount of direct promotion, administering the Wigmore Hall, putting on exhibitions at the Hayward and Serpentine Galleries and running the Arts Council Shop in London.
The Arts Theatre was an important club theatre which put on ground breaking works in its heyday. This archive consists of membership records; production files containing information relating to plays performed at the Arts Theatre consisting of a varying combination of material such as correspondence, documents, financial records, contracts, cast lists, programmes, scripts; an autograph book; flyers and programmes; documents and correspondence concerning the redevelopment of the Unicorn Theatre; documents and correspondence relating to the Royal Shakepeare Theatre Company's residency at the Arts Theatre. Archive reference number:THM/21 (12 boxes)
Administrative records of the Association, established in 1946 'with the intention of bringing Designers and Craftsmen of the theatre together in a professional organisation that would provide facilities for joint action on all matters affecting the common interests of its members, and to create and maintain a high standard of stage design generally'. It also attempted to act as a central source of information on employment and liaise between its members and managements, gaining recognition for their profession, and improving pay and conditions. Its membership included designers, painters, property makers, costumiers and designers' assistants. President of the Association was James Laver and by 1950 members included Michael Ayrton, Edward Carrick, Sophie Fedorovitch, Roger Furse, Peter Goffin, Anthony Holland, Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Gower Parks, Paul Sherriff, Hugh Skillen, Richard Southern, Felix Topolski, Motley, Michael Warre and Doris Zinkeisen. To establish and maintain standards members had to submit examples of their work, which was assessed by the Council, before membership was confirmed. The Association was wound up in 1960-1. Archive reference number: THM/51. (8 boxes)
Austen Hurgon was a theatrical actor and writer. In 1907 he produced the musical Miss Hook of Holland, the music and lyrics were written by Paul Reubens. This collection contains typescript song lyrics for a variety of songs; a manuscript copy of the sketch And Very Nice Too! A revue in three scenes by Austen Hurgon; a photograph of Austen Hurgon; a silk programme from Three Little Maids at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Richmond, dated 12th January 1903; material relating to Miss Hook of Holland; printed vocal scores for Three Little Maids, The Little Girl Waltz, and Arms and the Girl; the printed text for The Polish Jew; and notes and typescripts for a musical entitled Thelma of Norway, A Norse Girl, or The Norse Girl (title changed throughout creative process). Archive reference number: THM/275.
Collection of photographs of Ballet Rambert productions, mainly post 1960. These photographs were used in the 1976 Ballet Rambert exhibition at the Theatre Museum. Archive reference number: THM/76. (1 box)
This collection contains material relating to the careers of Barbara Leake and Stafford Byrne, and includes photographs, scrapbooks and typescripts of plays. Barbara Leake began her acting career at the Old Vic in the 1920s and went on to work with the company of R. Meadow White, and with the David Garrick players. After the Second World War she appeared regularly in the West End. She married the musician, dramatist and director Stafford Byrne. Byrne worked mainly as an actor in the 1930s, but his later career was mostly as a dramatist and director. Archive reference number: THM/191. (4 boxes)
Baron Nicholas de Rakoczy was an enthusiastic circus fan who recorded Bertram Mills Circus in performance during its winter seasons at Olympia from 1948 to 1962. The Baron made several visits a year to the circus, and the various acts appear several times on different films each season. This collection contains negatives, contact prints, and oversize prints of photographs of circus performers. Archive reference number: THM/244.
Display photographs of plays produced by Barry Jackson at various London theatres between 1930 and 1933. Some of these plays were new productions, others were transfers from Birmingham. Photographers include Pollard Crowther and Stage Photo Co. Archive reference number: THM/179. (7 boxes)
These albums are Barry Jones' personal record of his career on stage and screen and include photographs, some press cuttings, letters, a film script. Barry Jones, actor and manager, began his career with Frank Benson. In 1923 he went to America where he remained until 1931. He entered into partnership with Maurice Colbourne in 1928 and toured America and Canada with a repertory mainly made up of plays by George Bernard Shaw. The association with Shaw's plays was to last throughout his career. On his return to London he managed the Ambassadors' Theatre. His subsequent career was split between London and America. Archive reference number: THM/156. (18 volumes)
Benesh Movement Notation (BMN) was invented by Rudolf and Joan Benesh and began to evolve between 1947 and 1955: it was adopted by the Royal Ballet in 1955. In 1962 the Institute of Choreology (later renamed the Benesh Institute of Choreology) was set up, with Rudolf Benesh as Director and Joan Benesh as Principal. The Institute aimed to promote, develop and offer education in BMN and to assist in the preservation of dance heritage and in the protection of choreographic copyright. In 1997 The Benesh Institute was incorporated within the Royal Academy of Dance. Introductory material relating to the development of Benesh Dance Notation and the history of the Benesh Institute of Choreology including leaflets, publications, examination syllabus, progress report (1967), newsletters (1978-1979), and a bibliography. Copy of a circular letter [sent to the Theatre Museum] appealing for support for the Institute in response to a proposed reduction in its Arts Council grant (1986). Copies of Benesh Notation scores, the originals of which are lodged with the Royal Academy of Dance Library. Archive reference number: THM/91. (3 filing cabinets)
These records were held at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London, which was the base for Bernard Delfont's various theatre enterprises. In 1991 Cameron Mackintosh joined with Delfont's First Leisure Corporation to form Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, in order to run the Prince of Wales and Prince Edward theatres. In 1999 Cameron Mackintosh acquired a 100% interest in Delfont Mackintosh Theatres and its records. A selection of the earlier records was made by Theatre Museum in 2003, and further records were received via the Association of British Theatre Technicians in 2004. Gift of Cameron Mackintosh Limited, 2003. Archive reference number: THM/300.
Drawings of Henry Irving in some of his most famous roles, including Shylock, Hamlet, Mephistopheles, Dubosc and Lear. The collection consists of pencil/charcoal drawings, and watercolour drawings. Archive reference number: THM/227. (2 boxes)
Bertie Crewe (d.1937) trained in Paris and London, where as a young man he was a frequent visitor to Frank Matcham's home and may have trained with him. Crewe became known as one of the most prolific architects of his day, specialising entirely in theatres and later cinemas. Between them, he and his contemporaries W.G.R. Sprague and Thomas Verity were responsible for the majority of the theatres and variety palaces of the building boom of 1885 to 1915. In 1888 he assisted Walter Emden with the Royal Court Theatre on Sloane Square, and collaborated with Sprague to rebuild the Lincoln Theatre Royal (1893) and the Olympic (1890). His most notable projects included the Sadlers Wells remodelling of 1901, the Lyceum alterations of 1904, and the construction of the Prince's (later renamed the Shaftesbury). Other London theatres included: the Stoll, the Golders Green Hippodrome, the Piccadilly, the Phoenix and the Saville. Outside London he was responsible for the Birmingham Hippodrome, the Dublin Coliseum, the Glasgow Pavillion, the Manchester Palace, among others. Many of Crewe's theatres were subsequently destroyed. This collection consists of drawings of theatre buildings in the UK, Dublin and Paris. Includes plans, elevations, sections and details of decorations. Mostly signed by Bertie Crewe but often not dated. Archive reference number: THM/335.
Collection of photographs, scripts, letters, drawings, cuttings, posters and contracts relating to the British actress of stage and screen, Binnie Hale (Beatrice Mary Hale-Monro) 1899-1984. Archive reference: THM/8. (6 scrapbooks)
This archive consists of papers relating to productions, tours and projects undertaken by Black Mime Theatre. The Tour and production files series makes up the majority of the collection, and the bulk of the collection dates from 1992-1997. Archive reference number: THM/26.
Published ballet scores (mainly piano) and sheet music relating to ballets and other forms of dance. These scores were collected by Hector Bolitho and many include indications of the action and sequences of the ballet. Among the important works are scores for ballets choreographed by D'Egville, Philippe Taglioni, Salvatore Vigano, Ivanov, Pierre Gardel, Didelot, Fokine, and Nijinska. Archive reference number: THM/99. (26 boxes)
'The Book of Clowns' was written by George Speaight, with photography by Malcolm Fielding, Rolph Gobits and Homer Sykes. The book was designed and produced by Roxby Press Productions Ltd for Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. The photographs are of clowns and clown acts working in the late 1970s in tenting circuses in Great Britain, Europe and America, and were taken at circuses including Circus Hassani, Circus Knie, Circus Hoffmann, Cirque a l'Ancienne, Cirque Carre, Clyde Beatty and Cole Brothers Circus, Ecole Nationale du Cirque, Elleboog Circus, Gerry Cottle's Circus, the Moscow State Circus, Shriners' Circus, Bill Gray Circus, Texas Shriner's Circus. This collection consists of 2 boxes containing approximately 800 mounted 35mm slides, 500 transparencies and 10 prints made for the book The Book of Clowns by George Speaight, with photography by Malcolm Fielding, Rolph Gobits and Homer Sykes. Archive reference number: THM/328.
4 boxes containing letters from Williams to his friend Eric Jones-Evans from 1931 to Williams's death in 1961. There are also letters from Williams's companion Kathleen Saintsbury ("Kay"), which continue until 1982. Archive reference number: THM/330.
This collection is largely composed of the in-house press cuttings collection used for current awareness purposes by the staff of Equity. It also contains correspondence, annual reports, yearbooks, and copies of standard contracts Archive reference number: THM/109 (34 scrapbooks, 26 boxes)
The collection of set and costume designs acquired by the British Council for the purposes of creating touring exhibitions and promoting the work of British designers. Archive reference number: THM/55. (24 boxes, 17 models)
A collection of material amassed by members of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild. Included are puppets, scenery, toy theatres, posters, programmes, cuttings, film and tape recordings. Also included is material relating to the formation and administration of the Guild itself, including minute books, articles, correspondence, photograph albums, and brochures. Archive reference number: THM/233.
Cuttings albums containing newspaper reviews and articles on theatre in Britain, principally in London, but also in the provinces. This is a general collection and does not concentrate on one particular genre or entertainer. Archive reference number: THM/66. (72 boxes)
Administration files relating to the running of the British Theatre Institute. This collection includes financial reports; balance sheets; income and expenditure accounts; Memorandum and Articles of Association; miscellaneous correspondence. Archive reference number: THM/81. (1 box)
Scale drawings (some duplicates) of major British stages prepared by J. R. Brunskill of Brunskill and Loveday, one of the leading scenery building companies in the 1930s and 1940s. Also included in this collection are account books for the firm. Brunskill and Loveday Ltd. was an amalgamation of two companies, John Brunskill Ltd. and Loveday and Higson. John Brunskill Ltd. was formed in 1904 by John Brunskill, under whose direction it remained until just after the First World War, when it became a partnership between J. R. Brunskill (Jack), the son of the founder, and H. B. Flack. Edwin Loveday had started his business in 1899, and at some time changed the name of his company to Loveday and Higson, to incorporate one of his workers, Jack Higson. The two companies amalgamated in 1939. Archive reference number: THM/58. (3 boxes)
This collection comprises press cutting albums compiled by C. B. Cochran relating to his work, although some of his very early and late productions are not represented or comprehensively covered. Cochran was a theatrical showman who made his mark in nearly all areas of entertainment, from drama and ballet to circus and cabaret. He commissioned work from both the famous and from young artists at the beginning of their careers, and had a long association with Noel Coward. Archive reference number: THM/97. (121 boxes)
Drawings of London theatre buildings, includes come cinema, music halls and opera houses. Most drawings are ground level plans, often accompanied by plans of other levels and occasional sections and elevations. Nearly all drawings by C.D. Power, mostly signed and dated by him. Some drawings have dates between 1902 and the early 1940s but the majority appear to be from the 1950s and 1960s, after his retirement. These drawings appear to be copies of originals submitted to the London County Council (where Power worked as an architect) as the safety and licensing authority. Files often consist of the original drawing plus a dyeline print, usually ink on modern natural tracing paper to a scale of 1/8 inch to one foot. Archive reference number: THM/276.
Records of the Cambridge Arts Theatre, 1937 to the early 1970s, including production files, administration files, accounts, box office returns, playscripts, and programmes. The Cambridge Arts theatre was founded in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes, in association with architect George Kennedy and George 'Daddie' Rylands. He allowed amateur groups form the town and university to mount productions at the theatre. Many well known actors and personalities began their career their, including Ina McKellen, Trevor Nunn, Peter Hall, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Derek Jacobi. The theatre closed in 1993 to undergo refurbishment and redevelopment, and re-opened in 1996. Archive reference number: THM/258. (277 boxes)
A collection of material relating to the first production of John Masefield's play, 'The coming of Christ', performed in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral on 28 and 29 May 1928. George Bell, then Dean of Canterbury, was keen to see drama staged in the Cathedral and invited Masefield to write a Nativity play for performance at Canterbury. The play had music by Gustav Holst, costumes by Charles Ricketts, and enthusiastic support from the theatre designer, Laurence Irving, who himself appeared in the production. Archive reference number: THM/88. (2 boxes)
The personal archive of the musical comedy performer Carl Brisson, consisting of material relating to his career and family from the 1920s to 1958 and including a small amount of family correspondence from the 1970s. The material covers his British stage career and notable performances, and his later film career in Hollywood. Archive reference number: THM/56. (18 boxes)
Born in Liverpool in 1849 Carlotta Addison was the daughter of E.P. Anderson, former proprietor of the Doncaster Theatre Royal, and went on to become Mrs Charles A. La Trobe. She made her first theatrical appearance as a child in Tom Taylor's play 'Nine Points of the Law' at the Amphitheatre in Liverpool. Her first appearance on the London stage was on October 6, 1866 as Lady F. Touchwood in 'Belle's Stratagem' at the St. James' Theatre and she continued to perform on London and regional stages almost continuously (bar a four-year absence from 1882-1886) until her death in London, 1914. This collection consists of scrapbooks containing press cuttings, playbills (both paper and silk), programmes, photographs and incoming personal correspondence. Archive reference number: THM/370.
The collection comprises texts which belonged to the Charles Edwards Players. The company was started shortly after the First World War as a 'fit-up' theatre - a travelling company which installed portable scenery in village halls and other informal venues. Charles Edwards married Georgina Clifford of the Belmore Portable Theatre family. They and their children appeared as cast members in company productions, using different surnames to disguise the fact that they were related. The company toured village halls, cinemas and other venues, and used a superior type of painted scenery. The Charles Edwards Players were finally driven out of business by the rising popularity of the cinema. Archive reference number: THM/138. (3 boxes)
This collection comprises papers relating to the many organisations with which Charles Landstone was connected. Landstone was a business manager, theatre administrator, and playwright. He worked for many theatre companies including a large number of West End and 'fringe' theatres, and was booking manager for the Old Vic. He also worked at CEMA, Arts Council of Great Britain, Theatre Royal Bristol, and was involved in many professional organisations including the Theatrical Management Association and the Council of Repertory Theatres. Other organisations he was involved in included Provincial Theatre Council, English Arts Theatre Committee Ltd, International Theatre Institute, and the Federation of Repertory Playgoer's Societies. He wrote a number of plays and books and for many years was drama critic of the Jewish Chronicle. This collection mainly consists of committee papers and correspondence. Archive reference number: THM/201. (9 boxes)
Cuttings books on the career of Charles Lefeaux on stage and in radio drama, containing cuttings, letters and photographs. This collection consists of 13 volumes, covering the years 1923-1979. Charles Tregoning Lefeaux (1909-1979) was an actor who joined Radio Drama at the BBC in 1951 and there made a success, especially with his productions of Racine, Chekhov & Ibsen. He won the Italia Prize for his production of Stoppard's 'Albert's Bridge' and produced Giles Cooper's last plays. This is Lefeaux's own collection of cuttings books on his career. Archive reference number: THM/188. (4 boxes)
Charlie Keith was a clown and a circus owner. He made his name touring in circuses around the UK and Europe. Finding that no circus was willing to employ him under his own terms and conditions, in May 1868 he opened his own circus, a portable wooden building which he called Grand Cirque Imperial at Exeter, featuring his own troupe of riders, jugglers and gymnasts. Collection of photographs, playbills, contracts and other material relating to Charlie Keith and to his family's circus. Archive reference number: THM/30. (3 boxes)
The Chauve Souris ("The Bat") was founded by Nikita Balieff in 1908 and lasted until his death in 1936. After the 1917 Revolution, Balieff brought the company to the West and spent the rest of his life touring Europe and America with great success at a time when when the vogue for revue was at its height. The collection includes typescripts and manuscripts of sketches in English, French or Russian; manuscript and printed songs; cuttings; telegrams and letters; photographs; and an album of press cuttings from American and Canadian papers 1923-1935. Archive reference number: THM/82. (9 boxes)
The archive consists of papers relating to the Cheek by Jowl Company. The papers are therefore concerned with the administration and running of the company, including marketing and public feedback. Photographs, prompt books and costume designs also form part of the archive. Archive reference number: THM/24 (30 boxes) Cheek by Jowl was established in 1981 by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, when its manifesto was "to re-examine classical texts, avoiding directorial and design concepts, and to focus on the actor's art". After several successful smaller-scale UK tours, the company also began to tour internationally. After their production of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' in 1998, Donnellan and Ormerod took a break from the company to concentrate on other projects, but returned in 2001 with the production of Tony Kushner's 'Homebody/Kabul' at the Young Vic.
This collection contains Christopher Fry's scripts for stage plays, film, radio and television drama as well as his correspondence, notes and diaries and material relating to the performance of his plays. Archive reference number: THM/319.
A collection of material amassed by Claire de Robilant, relating to dance. The collection consists of de Robilant's research material for her book on the 'History of ballet in Argentina and Chile from 1808-1915', including material relating to South American dancers and dance companies, foreign tours made by them, and the visits of Diaghilev and his Ballets russes, and Pavlova and her company. The archive also contains de Robilant's research material relating to August Bournonville, the D'Egville family, and Noverre, as well as her general research files, periodicals, and ballet libretti relating to 19th and 20th century dance. Archive reference number: THM/254.
This collection consists of a selection of Clemence Dane's playscripts, screenplays, poems, radio scripts, correspondence, photographs, press cuttings including reviews and publications, programmes, novels, articles, lectures, speeches and broadcasts. Archive reference number: THM/120. (50 boxes)
Clement Scott (1841-1904) was dramatic critic on the Daily Telegraph from 1872. He wrote several plays under the pseudonyms 'John Doe' and 'Saville Rowe', often in collaboration with B. C. Stephenson, and translated some of the works of Sardou, notably Diplomacy. This collection comprises part of Scott's correspondence files. Archive reference number: THM/216. (14 boxes)
Clement Scott (1841-1904) was dramatic critic on the Daily Telegraph from 1872. He wrote several plays under the pesudonyms 'John Doe' and 'Saville Rowe', often in collaboration with B C Stephenson, and translated some of the works of Sardou, notably Diplomacy. Violently opposed to the emerging 'new drama', he ensured a kind of immortality by his vociferous opposition to Ibsen. The collection includes plays and adaptations by Scott, sometimes in collaboration, as well as scripts by other playwrights. Archive reference number: THM/215.
Clover Roope was one of the first British dancers to cross from ballet to contemporary dance. Born in Bristol in 1937, she trained with her godmother, Katherine Blott in Weston (who had been Michael Somes' teacher in early 1930s),and then at the Sadler's Wells (now Royal) Ballet School. She danced with the Royal Ballet Touring Company before joining Western Theatre Ballet, the radical small group founded by Elizabeth West. She began choreographing for the Sunday Ballet Club and for the Bristol Old Vic. From 1960 to 1964 she danced with Western Theatre Ballet for whom she also created several works. In 1964 she was the first dancer to be awarded a Harkness Scholarship to study contemporary dance in New York. She studied with Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais and performed in New York and at Jacob's Pillow. On returning to Britain she danced with Ballet Rambert and since then has taught at many schools, including the Rambert Academy and the University of Roehampton. The collection consists of papers, scores, cuttings, programmes and photographs relating to Roope's career in Britain and America, including some for Western Theatre Ballet. Archive reference number: THM/295.
Artistic and administrative papers relating to the running of the Contemporary Dance Trust, which incorporated the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and the London Contemporary Dance School. The papers are concerned with the administration of the Trust, the running of the school, and with education projects. Records relating to almost every aspect of the running of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre are present in this archive, including production, touring, and personnel files. A substantial number of posters and of photographs of productions and individuals also form part of the collection. Archive reference number: THM/22 (2998 files) Inspired by the Martha Graham Dance Company performances in Britain in March 1954 Robin Howard's enthusiasm for modern dance ultimately led to the formation of the London School of Contemporary Dance in 1966. The body running the school was known as the Contemporary Ballet Trust and was renamed in 1970 as the Contemporary Dance Trust. In 1967 Robert Cohan was appointed as artistic director and under his direction the London Contemporary Dance Group using dancers from the London School of Contemporary Dance and the Martha Graham Dance Company performed for the first time. A home was found for the Trust in January 1969 in a building that became known as The Place. 1969 saw the first London season of the London Contemporary Dance Company and the company went from strength to strength, touring, doing London seasons and also promoting contemporary dance through workshops, demonstrations and education projects. A number of the dancers such as Siobhan Davies and Richard Alston who began their careers at the London Contemporary Dance School (as it became known) went on to choreograph their own works for the company and later to choreograph for other companies. In fact many went on to establish their own dance companies. In 1994 the decision to restructure the Contemporary Dance Trust was taken. This was done with a view to providing the flexibility that choreographers increasingly required reflected in the trend towards choreographer led companies. Richard Alston was appointed as artistic director of the Trust and The London Contemporary Dance Theatre was replaced by a smaller choreographer-led company in Autumn 1994. The Contemporary Dance Trust and The Place continue to exist and run the London Contemporary Dance School, The Place Theatre, Education and Community Programmes, The Video Place and The Data Place. The Place also provides an administrative home for companies such as The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs, Shobana Jeyasingh, V-TOL and the Jonathan Burrows Group.
The Stage Design section of the Core Collections comprises around 15,000 individual designs. The source of many of these was the Arts Council's collection of designs, and that of the British Council, originally assembled to showcase the talents of British artists. Other designs have been acquired singly or in small groups throughout the existence of the Theatre Museum. Artists represented in the collections include John Piper, Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Cecil Beaton, Sophie Fedorovitch, Claude Lovat Fraser, Leon Bakst, Leslie Hurry, Anthony Holland, Yolanda Sonnabend, Alix Stone and many others. All the designs are listed, under artist, in an index located in the Study Room. An adjunct to this collection is a group of set models.
The term 'Library' is used here to include the Theatre Museum's collections of printed books, periodicals and manuscripts. The printed book collection comprises over 120,000 published works, including histories, criticisms, yearbooks, directories, trade literature and playtexts. It focusses on the history and practice of the British stage, and is strongest in the areas of drama and dance (especially ballet) but includes some coverage of all the live performing arts, It incorporates several major independent libraries, such as those of the Society for Theatre Research, the London Archives of the Dance, and the Critics' Circle. A large collection of some 60,000 titles was added to the collection in 1990, when the library of the British Theatre Association (previously known as the British Drama League) was passed to the Theatre Museum. This collection was especially rich in playtexts, in both printed and typescript form. The Museum was also very fortunate in being able to acquire the Robert Eddison collection in the 1990's. Mr Eddison was a respected actor but also an eminent collector of books and memorabilia, and the Museum thereby acquired a large number of rare and early works on the British stage. The Theatre Museum subscribes to a small number of current periodicals but also has important holdings of older material. These titles were not included in Carl Stratman's Britain's theatrical periodicals, 1720-1967; a bibliography (NY, 1972) and so the Museum's holdings can often provide an additional location to those cited in this source. Manuscripts in the core Library collection include authors' drafts (e.g.draft manuscripts of Sheridan's School for Scandal), graingerised books (where the published content has been expanded with interleavings and other personal additions), diaries, annotated texts and single account books and cuttings albums (series of these are usually treated as discrete collections and will have their own CLDs). The Theatre Museum also has an important collection of over 3000 promptbooks, relating to productions from the eighteenth century to the present day. A notable group is that which was given by the Royal Court Theatre which includes promptbooks for English Stage Company productions between 1956 and the 1980s . Other manuscripts include large numbers of typescripts for twentieth century plays, many donated by literary agents, which often do not exist in published form. The bulk of the collection covers the 18th century to the present, although a few items date from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The photographic section of the Core Collections is housed as an alphabetical sequence arranged by name of individual or of theatre production. A sub-section is devoted to dance but its arrangement mirrors that of the main sequence. The Core photographic collection contains hundreds of thousands of photographs covering all aspects of theatre from the 19th century onwards, including the extraordinary records of pre-1914 Drury Lane productions, a huge collection of postcards from the Edwardian heyday of the postcard beauties, extensive coverage of fringe theatre in the late 1980s and early 1990s donated by Time Out and of general theatre in the same period donated by the Daily Telegraph. This core collection is based on an amalgamation of the photographic sections of the Theatre Museum's founding collections (those of Gabrielle Enthoven, London Archives of the Dance, Society for Theatre Research, British Theatre Museum Association, etc). It also incorporates the photographs of the Theatre Museum's in-house photographer, Graham Brandon, who has documented stage productions since the 1980s. However, material is added continuously, often as a result of gifts by donors of miscellaneous material which does not justify retention as discrete archives. In addition to the Core photographic collections, the Theatre Museum holds many specialised photographic collections, which are the subject of separate Collection Descriptions: Gordon Anthony - Dance; Cyril Arapoff - Dance; Anthony Crickmay - Dance, drama, opera, fashion, advertising; J W Debenham - Drama, dance, some opera; Denis de Marney - Dance; Baron Nicholas de Rakoczy - Circus; Lisel Haas - Drama, especially Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Guy Little Collection - theatre, opera, dance in 19th century; Edward Mandinian - Dance, especially the Sadler's Wells (now Royal) Ballet; Duncan Melvin - Dance; Houston Rogers - Dance, drama, opera; The Windmill Theatre collection - revue and night clubs.
The Theatre Museum's main poster collection comprising posters collected directly from theatres, posters from various collections, and important posters purchased from salerooms or galleries. The collection does not aim to be comprehensive, and incoming posters are retained according to the quality of design, the importance of the work, artist or production, or if they relate to a major theatre or company. However, the collection is extremely large, holding somewhere in the region of 7000 posters and covering all aspects of theatre and performing arts, including circus, rock and pop, and music hall. The collection mainly concentrates on British productions, although there are some posters relating to foreign productions.
The Core Collection of production files is arguably the Theatre Museum's most important and celebrated collection. It consists of over one million UK playbills and theatre programmes, dating from the early eighteenth century to the present. Many of the items were originally collected by the Museum's founder, Gabrielle Enthoven, and the collection is sometimes inaccurately referred to as the 'Enthoven Collection'. However, the contents originate from a very wide range of sources, including from the Museum's own practice of actively collecting programmes from over 200 UK theatres. The material is organised by town or city, and then chronologically for each theatre represented within that location. The focus is heavily biased towards London for a number of reasons: Mrs Enthoven's collecting did not incorporate the regions; the Theatre Museum's regional collecting programme did not begin until 1974; historic collections of programmes for other towns and cities have often become the responsibility of a local history library or record office - a highly appropriate arrangement resulting in good access provided where the demand is likely to be highest. The London holdings are rich not only in programmes for the major theatres but also for minor venues, including supper rooms, music halls, taverns and fringe venues. The files contain original programmes (often in multiple copies where cast changes need to be recorded) and contemporary reviews cut from newspapers and magazines, where these have been available.
The Core Collections contain four series of Topic Files: Biographical, Theatre Buildings, Companies and Miscellaneous Subjects. These files can contain press cuttings, photographs (in the case of Theatre Buildings) and miscellanous printed material such as leaflets, trade literature and advertisements. Biographical files: over 25,000 files on individuals from all periods. All those connected with the performing arts are eligible for inclusion but the size of each file is normally dependent on the degree to which individuals have attracted media attention. The files contain general material about an individual (articles, interviews, memorial service programmes, etc). They do not contain reviews of specific performances, which are housed with the relevant theatre programme (see Collection Description for Core Collection ' Production Files) Company files: these include files on theatre, dance, opera, circus and other performance companies. Theatre Buildings: The content of these files is devoted to the fabric of the individual theatre. The files, contents comprise news stories on theatre openings, closures, refurbishments and other issues not directly relating to a specific production. The collection covers venues throughout the UK. Miscellaneous Subjects: Files cover hundreds of subjects such as pantomime, women in theatre, arts funding, theatrical awards, stage machinery, child performers, etc.
The Covent Garden Theatrical Fund was established in 1765 'for Supporting the Aged, Indigent and Infirm Actors of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, and relieving their Widows and Children.' This small collection consists of bills of 'Anniversary Festivals' at Freemasons' Hall between 1829 and 1847, together with the printed addresses to the members, and occasional manuscript letters or notes. Archive reference number: THM/112. (1 box)
This collection was put together by the dance historian and critic, Cyril Beaumont. It includes material mainly relating to ballet from the Romantic period to the 20th century, but also includes a small amount of material relating to social and folk dance, and also to toy theatre. A wide variety of different media, including designs, prints, correspondence, press cuttings, programmes, ceramics and figurines, puppets, and sheet music, are represented in this collection. Included are: typescripts and manuscript drafts of speeches given by Cyril Beaumont, and of articles written by him: portraits of various dancers, including Marie Taglioni, Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Enrico Cecchetti; costume designs; set designs; prints, including those of various dancers and theatre buildings; scrapbooks containing reviews of books by Cyril Beaumont; libretti. The collection also includes material relating to Diaghilev's Ballets russes, to Enrico Cecchetti and the Cecchetti Society, to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and to the Royal Academy of Dancing. It also contains the Margaret Rolfe collection of material relating to Marie Taglioni, which consists drawings and prints, costumes and accessories, and personal items belonging to Taglioni. Archive reference number: THM/239.
This collection was part of the Mills family archives relating to the history of the Bertram Mills Circus. Bertram Mills founded the annual Mills Circuses at Olympia, London in 1920. After Bertram Mills's death, the circus was run by Cyril and his brother Bernard. Archive reference number: THM/196. (11 boxes)
A collection of business correspondence and legal documents relating to Daly's Theatre. The theatre, which opened in 1893, was built by George Edwardes for Augustin Daly. It became known for its production of musical comedies. The theatre was sold to James White's Company (the Beecham Trust) in 1927. These papers relate to James White's ownership of the theatre, and agreements about productions that were mounted in Edwardes's day. Archive reference number: THM/83. (4 boxes)
Publicity and business papers for visiting dance companies to London. The papers vary in content but include press releases, company biographies, advertising, press lists, copies of reviews, box office returns, theatre contracts, and minutes of meetings. The archive includes material relating to American Ballet Theatre (1977); Australian Ballet (1977-1983, 1988); Ballet de Marseilles (1977); Ballet de Montreal (1985); Bejart Ballet of the 20th century (1977 & 1980); Bolshoi Ballet (1986, 1989) Dance Theatre of Harlem (1981, 1984, 1986); Dutch National Ballet (1984, 1991); London Contemporary Dance Company (1985); Martha Graham (1976, 1979); National Ballet of Canada (1979); New York City Ballet (1979, 1983); Paris Opera Ballet (1982); Royal Danish Ballet (1974); Royal Winnipeg Ballet (1982); Stuttgart Ballet (1978, 1981); Tokyo Ballet (1986). The archive also includes material relating to the opening of the Barbican Centre (1982), the Edinburgh Festival (1981), and the 50th Anniversary Season of the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House and the O'Keefe Centre, Toronto (1981). Archive reference number: THM/32 (20 boxes)
Deryck Lynham, dance historian, was active in the establishment of the Ballet Guild and the London Archives of the Dance. This small collection includes research notes, articles, broadcast texts, translations, programmes and photographs of music scores relating to Lynham's publications, notably his book on Noverre ('The chevalier Noverre: father of modern ballet, a biography'). The Noverre research notes include material on Garrick, Hilverding and Salle. There are letters on miscellaneous scholarly matters, a file on the London Archives of the Dance and typescripts of articles or broadcasts on various companies, including the Sadler's Wells Ballet and Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet. Archive reference number: THM/172. (2 boxes)
The Dolphin Theatre Company was the professional, full time wing of the National Youth Theatre, based at the Shaw Theatre in the 1970s. The NYT performed during the summer months, while the rest of the year the Dolphin Theatrte Company was responsible for productions. Both companies were run by Michael Croft. This collection consists of production photographs by Nobby Clark. Archive reference number: THM/359.
21 colour lithographs with facsimile signatures, of burlesque artists, singers, managers and actors, late 19th century: George Augusts Sala, Gustave Dore, Violet Cameron, Miss Fortescue, Kate Santley, Florence St John (2), Minnie Palmer, Marie Roze, Wilson Barrett, Mary Eastlake, Marie Bancroft, Nellie Farren, Leonora Braham, Connie Gilchrist, Kate Vaughan, Minnie Mario, Florence Gerard, Fanny Stirling, + 2 illegible. Archive reference number: THM/263.
Personal record of the career of Douglas Byng (1893-1987), revue, cabaret and pantomime performer. The archive consists mainly of press cuttings, both mounted in albums and loose, and photographs. The collection also contains programmes, music and lyrics. Archive reference number: THM/48. (12 boxes)
This collection consists of costume and set designs for productions by the D'Oyly Carte Company from 1878 until 1982, production photographs, prompt books, correspondence, cuttings albums, and ephemera relating to the company. Archive reference number: THM/73.
A collection of Toy theatres and Toy theatre sheets. The collection inccludes a boxed Children's Theatre, with proscenium arch, curtains etc and plays, produced by C. B. Nualart; Pollock's Regency Theatre, complete with proscenium arch, orchestra, front cloth, back 'wall', grooves and rods', a book and characters for 'Aladdin', published in 1947; around 40 sets of plays, many with their books; stage fronts; cut out characters and scenery for 'The Corsican Brothers'. Archive reference number: THM/236. (4 boxes)
Costume designs for plays and pantomimes at Drury Lane, 1898-1938, and designs for unidentified productions, by Attilio Comelli, some of which are costumier's copies. They came from the Archives of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and are mostly for pantomime from 1888-1918, with the exception of the designs for 'The Musketeers' (designed by Charles Karl, Her Majesty's 1898); 'The Prodigal Son' (Comelli, 1905); 'The Hope' (Comelli, 1911), and 'Angelo' (Comelli, 1923), 'The Sun Never Sets' (Elizabeth Haffenden, 1938). These productions were all at Drury Lane, except for 'The Musketeers'. The collection also includes designs by Wilhelm for 'Babes in the Wood', 1888. Archive reference number: THM/86. (31 boxes)
Collection of legal and financial records relating to Drury Lane Theatre from the 1790s to c.1820. This collection includes: legal agreements and court papers involving Sheridan; documents relating to the Art for Rebuilding Drury Lane (1810 and 1812); debentures; Deeds of Trust; letters and documents 1789-1819, mostly relating to plays submitted for production and to the cost of removing Drury Lane company to the King's Theatre; reports relating to the rebuilding of the Theatre in 1812; tally sheets; and committee reports and shares. Archive reference number: THM/101. (10 boxes)
Receipts, account books and cancelled cheques relating to Drury Lane finances, c. 1840. The collection also includes legal documents from the early 19th century. Archive reference number: THM/102. (3 boxes)
Collection of legal and financial records relating to Drury Lane Theatre from 1747-1816. This collection includes: Play lists (1747-1782); Letters (1748-1813); Petitions (1798-1812); Legal documents, agreements and statements (1776-1813); Internal memoranda (1783-1816); Financial documents (1770-1816); and Catalogues by BTMA and Richard Macnutt.
Collection of legal and financial records relating to Drury Lane Theatre 1808-1826. This collection includes letters to and from the management of the Drury Lane Theatre. Archive reference number: THM/311.
The Drury Lane Theatrical Fund was founded by David Garrick (1717-1779) in 1766 for the 'Relief and Support of Indigent and Decayed Members of Her Majesty's Company of Comedians (Subscribers to the same) their Widows and Children.' This collection contains correspondence relating to the Fund in the mid 19th century, and satin bills relating to public dinners and 'Anniversary festivals'. Archive reference number: THM/72. (1 box)
A collection of glass negatives of dancers and ballet companies by Duncan Melvin. Melvin's photographic studies were primarily of solo dancers or small groups of dancers taken in his studio. He recorded many of the leading dancers appearing in London in the late 1940s, including Moira Shearer, Svetlana Beriosova, Nana Gollner and Paul Petroff, and worked especially with the visiting French ballet companies. This collection consists of negatives only, there are no proofs. Archive reference number: THM/197. (c.1000 negatives)
The Dyce Collection is one of two very large and distinct collections within the National Art Library, the other being the Forster Collection. The Reverend Alexander Dyce was born at Edinburgh in 1798 and died in London in 1869, leaving over 14,000 books to the South Kensington Museum, along with pictures, prints, drawings and other objects d'art. In his youth, Dyce developed a taste for the theatre, which he continued at Oxford and after taking holy orders. He saw legendary figures such as John Kemble, Mrs Siddons and Edmund Kean on the stage. The collection includes some of the usual material found in a gentleman's library, for instance histories and literature, but lacks county histories, genealogies and topography, or much on the theological debates of the 19th century, although there are some theological works. There is an abundance of classical secular scholarly works. Dyce collected many very early editions in Greek and Latin of the poets and playwrights Aeschylus, Aristotle, Homer, Livy, Ovid, Pindar, Sophocles, Virgil and others important to classical scholarship. At the heart of the collection are the editions of English poems and plays from the Elizabethan era to the nineteenth century. Dyce had a scholarly interest in Italian and French poems, plays and romances, particularly for their influence on the English theatre. His love of the literature of these Romance languages is attested to by the great number of editions of Boccaccio, Dante, Racine, Rabelais and Moliere, as well as of lesser known authors. Dyce published editions of the poets, particularly the dramatic poets. As well as his own editions of the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher he collected other important editions of their works, including the original manuscript of "The Faithful Friends". There are relatively few manuscripts, in contrast to the Forster Collection, but, amongst others, there is an original manuscript by Massinger, "The Parliament of Love". There are first editions of all the most famous plays by John Webster. The Shakespeare holdings include the 1623 first folio (though seemingly made up from different copies), the 1632 second folio, and rare quartos of individual plays. There are also rare editions of plays by many other playwrights.; The Computer Catalogue is available at http://catalogue.nal.vam.ac.uk. This contains entries for all material acquired since 1987, plus a large proportion of earlier acquisitions. The remaining older catalogues, including those for the Forster and Dyce Collections, are currently being converted. The Computer Catalogue also includes some entries from material held by the Theatre Museum, a branch of the V&A. National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum,
Collection documenting E.Hoggan-Armadale's theatrical career 1880s to early 1900s. He was a member of Irving's company, and also acted as his stand in. His performances were often highly praised in newspapers published in Great Britain, India, and Australia. His Shakespearian recitals were particularly well received. Archive reference number: THM/130. (1 box)
This collection mainly consists of costume designs and illustrations by E.W. Godwin (1833-1886), architect, theatre designer, and writer. It also includes miscellaneous papers, programmes, photographs, cuttings and correspondence relating to Godwin and the Costume Society. Archive reference number: THM/3 (10 boxes)
A collection of woodcuts and prints by Edward Gordon Craig. Artist, actor, wood-engraver, writer, and stage-designer, the son of Edward William Godwin and Ellen Terry, Craig began his career as an actor. He was known for his avant-garde, anti-realist stage and lighting, and his radical ideas on design and stagecraft had considerable influence in both Europe and America. Archive reference number: THM/60. (1 box)
Material collection by Lindsay Newman for an exhibition on Edward Gordon Craig entitled 'Page to Stage: Edward Gordon Craig and the Cranach Press Hamlet'. The collection contains original material including prints, correspondence and sketches, as well as Newman's own research material from the exhibition.
Negatives and some proof prints of photographs taken by Edward Mandinian of dancers. Mandinian photographed for a relatively short period during the 1940s, taking both action pictures during performance and posed pictures on the stage. His photographs of the Sadler's Wells Ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1946 at Covent Garden covers each act in detail as well as various alternative casts. Archive reference number: THM/198. (c.1000 negatives and prints)
This collection consists of letters, financial records, and telegrams, which give a unique insight into the day-to-day running of the Ballet Russes company, its expenditure, income, administration, management structure and back-up services as well as much personal and social information. While Diaghilev's Ballets russes as an artistic and dance phenomenon has been extensively researched, the Ekstrom collection increases understanding of how the company operated on a daily basis. Archive reference number: THM/7 (37 boxes)
This collection consists of material relating to Menzies' and Griffin's careers. It includes production programmes, photographs, correspondence, song sheets and press cuttings. Archive reference number: THM/365.
Photographs, correspondence and designs collected by Emile Littler throughout his career. Littler was a manager and producer, whose early career embraced both general theatrical management and stage management before he started in management on his own in 1934. By the 1950s he was presenting plays, musicals and pantomimes. He also wrote and directed over fifteen productions at various London theatres and over 200 throughout Britain. The photographs in this collection are a mixture of press and display pictures from Littler productions, including pantomime, musicals and plays. The correspondence includes letters to and from many members of the theatre professions, including C. B. Cochran, Norman Hartnell, Fay Compton, Irving Berlin, Laurence Olivier, and Arthur Askey. The designs are mostly for productions at Daly's Theatre, 1912-26; Prince's Theatre, Manchester, 1915 and 1919; and miscellaneous designs. Many of these are not connected with Littler productions. The collection also contains some scrapbooks, posters and miscellaneous business documents. The costume designs from this archive have been digitised and can be found on the V&A's Search the Collections website. Archive reference number: THM/144.
May Swallow was the companion to Sarah Cooke, believed to be the inspiration for the character of Mis Moffat in Williams's play The Corn is Green. This collection contains letters from Emlyn Williams to May Swallow.
The archive consists of papers relating to the running of the English Shakespeare Company. The papers are therefore concerned with the administration of the company, the running of the company and with education projects. Almost every aspect of the running of the English Shakespeare Company is covered including administration, marketing and education files. Photographs of the productions also form part of the archive. Archive reference number: THM/159. (280 boxes)
The archive consists of the administrative and artistic management papers of the English Stage Company from its formation in 1954 to 2004. The main core of the archive consists of the papers of the Council and various management committees; company and production accounts; correspondence of the artistic directors and literary managers; production photographs and stage plans; press cuttings; and crucially the production management files. Archive reference number: THM/273.
In 1924 the Victoria and Albert Museum accepted a gift from Gabrielle Enthoven (nee Augusta Gabrielle Romaine) of her entire collection of theatrical memorabilia. The entire collection formed the basis of the collections of the Theatre Museum, and has been distributed throughout the Museum's Core Collections. This part of the collection remains as a discrete collection and consists of the personal papers of Gabrielle Enthoven.It includes personal photographs, correspondence, typescripts of plays, stories and lectures written by Enthoven, and some personal items including medals. Archive reference number: THM/114. (7 boxes)
Born in San Francisco, Ernest Milton was predominantly a Shakespearean actor who joined the Old Vic company from 1918, where he performed a wide range of roles and was a notable Hamlet. From a full and varied career, including brief management of the Queen's Theatre, his key non-Shakespearean roles were as Rupert Cadell in Patrick Hamilton's Rope and as the lead in Pirandello's Henry IV. He was also an author of novels and plays. Autograph letters written by Milton and various people to him, including fan letters (9 boxes) Photographs of Milton in performance, and in private life (4 boxes) Assorted books including Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Peeps into Persia, and play texts including Merchant of Venice and Richard III (4 boxes) Collection of ephemera relating to the work of Naomi Royde Smith, wife of Milton, including part of the typed manuscript of her autobiography and scrapbooks containing cuttings reviewing her written work (5 boxes) Sheet music, including works by Beethoven and Richard Strauss (2 boxes) Stories and play texts by Ernest Milton and transcripts of interviews broadcast during the '50s and '60s (2 boxes) Scrapbooks on his career (2 boxes) Loose press cuttings relating to his career, and miscellaneous objects including a lock of his wife's hair in a decorative box (1 box) Theatre programmes, predominantly 1950s, 1960s (1 box) Diaries belonging to Ernest Milton (1 box) Assorted notebooks and catalogues including Sotheby catalogues (1 box) 78rpm recording of Ernest Milton's To be or not to be speech from Hamlet (1 box) Archive reference number: THM/325.
Published and typescript reviews, illustrations, and files of cuttings on individuals, including the Lunts, Noel Coward, and Henrik Ibsen. This collection mostly consists of press cuttings mounted into albums or onto sheets, although there are also some loose cuttings. Also included in the archive are some typescripts of books by Ernest Short. Archive reference number: THM/248. (13 boxes)
Set and costume designs by Ernst Stern (1876-1954) for drama, opera, operetta, revue, and film. The collection includes designs for productions in London, Germany and America, and miscellaneous papers belonging to the artist. Archive reference number: THM/218. (65 boxes)
Papers, correspondence, cuttings, playbills, programmes, choreographic notes and other material relating to three generations of the Espinosa family in Britain. Leon Espinosa was born in Holland of Spanish descent. A dancer, he studied under Coralli, Perrot and Taglioni in Europe before settling in London in 1872. His son, Edouard made his debut as a dancer in 1889. In the course of a long and varied career he worked with Irving at the Lyceum, appeard all over Western Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa, and in between arranged the dances for some 300 London shows, including 'Chu Chin Chow'. Of great importance was his work to improve standards of dancing and teaching in Britain, and he founded the British Normal School of Dancing in 1896, the first English school to hold examinations and issue certificates. It was due to his impetus that teachers in Britain eventually came together to form the Association of Teachers of Operatic Dancing, now the Royal Academy of Dancing. Espinosa eventually broke away from the R.A.D. to found, with the help of his wife, Louise Kay, the British Ballet Organisation. He died in 1950. Many other members of the family were involved in teaching, dancing, and the theatre, including Yvette and Judith Espinosa, and Edward Kelland-Espinosa. Edward's career was mainly in pantomime and summer shows, until he took over the running of the B.B.O.. He died in 1991. Most of the papers in this archive relate to the careers of Edouard Espinosa and Edward Kelland-Espinosa. Archive reference number: THM/259. (6 boxes)
Material relating to the Everyman Theatre, Hampstead and the book, Everymania: the history of the Everyman Theatre, Hampstead, 1920-1926, by its founder Norman MacDermott. Archive reference number: THM/74. (9 boxes)
Miscellaneous papers relating to the career of the actress, Fanny (or Frances) Rowe (1913-198'). The archive includes newspaper cuttings and reviews, many relating to the American tour of Man and Superman (1948), photographs, programmes, letters, notes for a lecture entitled 'How to be an Audience; or, Getting Your Money's Worth in the Theatre', pencil caricatures, and a cut-out figure of Frances Rowe as Elizabeth Barrett at Windsor Repertory Theatre Archive reference number: THM/309.
A large reference collection relating to many aspects of European theatre from Greek and Roman theatre up to the 1930s. This is an important and potentially very useful collection, providing excellent coverage of its many subjects, bringing together much material that cannot easily be found elsewhere, as well as providing unique material, much from German sources. It is especially important for the coverage of developments in scene and costume design in Germany, which had so much influence throughout Europe in the 20th century, and in the reference photographs, which draw together relevant images from sculpture and painting, as well as designs and drawings from many different collections. The collection is a mixture of all types of 2-d reference material, both original and copy. It includes prints, original photographs, copy photographs, reference photographs articles, cuttings, leaflets, programmes and catalogues. Archive reference number: THM/126. (18 boxes)
A collection of playbills, letters, photographs and drawings accumulated by six generations of the Fisher family. This archive records the theatrical careers of the Fisher family, beginning with that of David Fisher, a carpenter, who was recruited as singer and actor by the Norwich Theatre Royal, and went on to take over the management of a small travelling company of comedians. This family business turned into a popular theatre circuit in Norfolk and Suffolk, and Fisher opened his own playhouses throughout the region. This archive traces the rise to respectability of provincial touring theatre in the Georgian era and its growing importance as a training ground for the London stage - David Fisher's own son played at Drury Lane with Edmund Kean. Following the closure of the circuit in 1844, succeeding generations of the Fisher family worked further afield. The third David Fisher became an acclaimed comedian on the Victorian London stage, and his cousin, Charles Fisher, was a leading actor on the New York stage. In the 1880s a fourth David Fisher played throughout Britain and Europe with D'Oyly Carte, and in the twentieth century his son, another David Fisher, was at the Prince's Theatre, Bristol, in the heyday of Edwardian pantomime. Several other members of the family appeared on stage, including Edward Andrews who toured in musical shows, and Kitty Fisher, who acted with the Birmingham Repertory Company. Archive reference number:(THM/44)
Collection of material relating to the stage career of Florence Carruthers (also known as Florence MacInnes), including material collected by her during her lifetime. Archive reference number: THM/100. (5 boxes)
A collection of material relating to the stage and film career of Florence McHugh, including material relating to 'Showboat' and 'Romany Lane'. Florence McHugh was a Canadian stage, film and radio actress and musician. She played the heroine in a Western radio series 'The cabin in the hills' for the BBC in 1935 and played Magnolia in a 1928 revival of 'Showboat' in Glasgow. Archive reference number: THM/185. (5 boxes)
Working drawings for theatres designed by Frank Matcham's architectural practice, including original "contract sets", pre-contract drawings and survey plans, blueprints, negatives and tracings. This archive is represents a substantial part of Frank Matcham's total output of work. Archive reference number: THM/2.
Frederick Percy Bentham (1911-2001) was a leading theatre lighting equipment designer and engineer, consultant, author and lecturer, and acclaimed as 'the father of modern theatre lighting' in his obituary in 'The Times'. During his 42-year career at Strand Electric, for the most part as head of research & development, he was responsible for many successful new lighting products for theatre and television, including thyristor dimmers, the first pressure die-cast spotlights and memory lighting controls. This collection includes technical drawings, diagrams, notes, proposals and specifications, correspondence, minutes, scrapbooks, cuttings, promotional material and published articles. These derive from Frederick Bentham's lengthy career at Strand and afterwards, and provide vital insight into the products he researched and developed. Other coverage includes his involvement with external organisations such as the Association of British Theatre Technicians, and his own work as lecturer, writer, and editor of 'TABS' etc. Archive reference numbers: THM/46, THM/314, THM/315. (57 boxes)
Ground plans for Frith Banbury productions. Frith Banbury, actor, director and manager, was born in 1912, and made his stage debut as an actor in 1933. He spent 14 years as an actor, playing a wide range of roles from Ibsen to revue, before switching to production; among his most successful presentations have been The Holly and the Ivy, Waters of the Moon, The Deep Blue Sea, The Diary of Anne Frank, Flowering Cherry and Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. Archive reference number: THM/54.
Material relating to a touring company in South East Asia/Indo China, principally India and Malaysia, in the mid 20th century. The collection mainly relates to R. B. Salisbury's Eastern Tours, and includes agreements, correspondence relating to his proposed performances in India, various song sheets, press cuttings and programmes. The collection also includes material relating to the Savage Club, London. Archive reference number: THM/228. (2 boxes)
Financial papers relating to productions of plays by George Bernard Shaw: returns, receipts, notes and some letters all concerning box office takings for Shaw productions and obviously collected and collated by Shaw to assess royalties due. Archive reference number: THM/145. (10 boxes)
George Cooke was a prolific cartoonist who specialised in drawing Music Hall and Variety performers, producing illustrations of them for newspapers as well as for their own publicity. This collection comprises albums of his original artwork, portraying performers, and also cuttings albums of his work as reproduced in magazine or newspaper form. The collections consists of 6 albums of original artwork, and 3 albums of cuttings from newspapers and periodicals showing examples of Cooke's published cartoons and images of performers. Archive reference number: THM/229. (4 boxes)
George M. Slater, (1870-1949), actor (especially as villain in melodrama); theatre manager (Novelty Theatre); general manager for George Edwardes' tours; stage manager at the Gaiety and for D'Oyly Carte's touring 'D' Company; manager for stars including Marie Tempest; Madame Rejane and Mrs Brown Potter. For years he was associated with Julian Wylie, writing & producing his own pantomimes. The collection comprises typescripts and manuscripts of pantomimes by George M. Slater and others, prompt books, miscellaneous papers (including production details) and typescript of his memoirs 'The good (and bad) old days of the theatre', and published pantomime and play texts. Archive reference number: THM/217. (10 boxes)
George Ramon was an architect, interior designer and set designer born in Hungary or Rumania, who lived in Germany from the late 1920s, where his work included designs for offices and hotels, such as the design for an office in Berlin by George Ramon and Werner Zippert, c.1928; wall paintings at the Rio-Rita restaurant, Berlin, 1932, and a painted glass panel at the Cascade restaurant, Berlin, Germany, 1932. With the rise of Hitler and Nazism, Ramon left Germany in 1933 and moved to England where his interior design work included a design for the wall decoration in the dining room of the liner Queen Mary, 1934, and a design for the reception area at the Mayfair Hotel, London, 1945. In the 1940s however George Ramon became a prolific stage designer, his work including designs for plays and wartime revues produced by George Black, the man who created the hugely successful wartime revues at the Hippodrome Theatre, and for productions by Firth Shepherd. This gift also includes designs for productions including Prince of Wales Variety; Palladium Variety; Family Portrait; The Wizard of Oz; Rainbow Square; Get a Load of This; Freedom of the City and Let's Face It, as well as programmes and negatives of photographs of his work. Gift of Walter Kupfer. Archive reference number: THM/288.
George Sheringham (1884-1937) was a decorative painter and designer of fans, theatrical costumes and scenery, posters and book illustrations. This collection consists of sketches, watercolours, pen and ink drawings, pamphlets, guidebooks, photographs, and dance programmes. Archive reference number: THM/289.
Contains material relating to puppets in the form of press cuttings; images; leaflets; programmes; catalogues; greeting cards; postcards; invitations; food packaging; book jackets; transcripts; badge; notebook; bookmarks; card game; handkerchief; napkins; stationary; stamps; research material on puppets; notes; articles; correspondence; prints; photographs; papers relating to the History of English Puppet Theatre in the form of proofs, illustrations, and reviews; society papers and newsletters; and information on anniversaries of Punch & Judy. Archive reference number: THM/375.
A collection of material relating to Sir Godfrey Tearle compiled by Rowena Hamer-Jones whilst researching for a biography of Tearle. It includes material relating to Antony & Cleopatra, USA 1947-8, starring Godfrey Tearle as Antony, and Othello at Stratford, 1948, starring Godfrey Tearle as Othello. Archive reference number: THM/219. (2 boxes)
Gordon Anthony was one of the leading theatre photographers in Britain during the 1930s. He was especially known for his studio photographs of dancers. He covered the rise of the Vic-Wells Ballet extensively, and also the visiting Ballets Russes companies, as well as theatre productions, notably at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford. The collection contains a cuttings album, recording his published work between 1933 and 1935, and a framed programme for the 25th anniversary performance of the Sadler's Wells Ballet at the Royal Opera House, signed by most of the company. Archive reference number: THM/146. (2 boxes)
Sander Alexander Gorlinsky was born in Kiev on 28 February 1908. At the age of 18 months his family moved to Berlin: as a teenager he successfully secured professional work for his school orchestra, and worked with Jack Hylton on a series of orchestral concerts. With the rise of Hitler he moved to Paris during the 1930s, working as an agent for dance bands, ice acts and comedians. Whilst on holiday in Ostend in 1938 he noticed that the Royal Palace Hotel was empty and set out to refurbish it, in collaboration with Billy Butlin. In 1940 however he was forced to flee to Britain, where he took a job running hostels for agricultural workers in Gloucestershire. He also gained experience with the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI). In 1945 he embarked on an abortive partnership with Jack Hylton before setting out on his own as an impresario. In 1946, hoping to exploit a new taste for grand opera in Britain, Gorlinsky invited a reluctant Beniamino Gigli, and eventually persuaded the entire San Carlo Opera Company to appear at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He followed this success by promoting Gigli's tours during the late 1940s and by bringing the La Scala Opera to Britain in 1950. From 1953 Gorlinsky staged rival seasons of Italian opera at the Stoll Theatre and then at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Having established himself as a concert promoter (in 1947 he promoted 250 concerts with leading orchestras and conductors such as Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir John Barbirolli), Gorlinsky began concentrating on artist representation. Having already engaged Mario del Monaco, Arturo Toscanini, Tito Gobbi, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi and Renato Scotto, in 1952 he signed Maria Callas to perform Norma at Covent Garden, and after her divorce from Giovanni Meneghini he became her personal manager until the end of her career. Other musicians managed by Gorlinsky included Montserrat Caballe, Alfredo Kraus, Jose Carreras, Ruggero Raimondo, Giuseppe di Stefano, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel and Piero Cappuccilli. He developed a close personal friendship with Tito Gobbi. In dance he represented Natalia Makarova, Flemming and Yoko Morishita as well as managing Rudolf Nureyev for 30 years. In collaboration with Victor Hochhauser, Gorlinski negotiated for visits to Britain by over 40 ballet companies for a series of Nureyev Festivals at the London Coliseum He was married to Edith Ellis. Sander Gorlinsky died in London on 12 May 1990. The Sander Gorlinsky Archive represents the career of the London-based impresario and managing agent Sander Gorlinsky. The majority of the archive concerns the careers of Gorlinsky's clients. The Nureyev section of the archive is the most substantial relating to a single person within the archive. The period covered in the archive overall is from 1900 to 1993, the majority of materials falling between 1950 and 1990. Archive reference number: THM/1.
Model pieces (scenery, properties and figures) made by the Grieve family of scene painters, John Henderson Grieve (1770-1845) and his sons, Thomas (1799-1882) and William (1800-1844), and William Telbin (1813-1873). John Grieve did much of his work for Covent Garden, and the collection includes designs for several Shakespeare plays including the Covent Garden productions of Henry VIII (1831), and Le Prophete (1849) and Oberon (1826). Archive reference number: THM/127.
A comprehensive archive of papers covering the history of Group Theatre from 1932 to 1956. The Group Theatre was founded by Rupert Doone with Ormerod Greenwood and Tyrone Guthrie as an ensemble company dedicated to the performance of poetic drama and socialist ideals comparable to the Workers' Theatre Movement. It produced the first performances of significant works by writers including T S Eliot, W H Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Spender. The collection includes: business papers, policy documents, administrative records, correspondence; photographs; prompt scripts; music; programmes; publicity. Archive reference number: THM/118. (3 boxes)
Information amassed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for their reports on the training of actors, dancers and musicians in the 1970s, including correspondence with and reports on and from many companies, schools and education boards, and Arts Council Enquiries. Contains interesting material on organisations, such as CORT (Council of Regional Theatres), Roundhouse, Rural Music Schools, Youth and Music, British Society for Music Therapy. Archive reference number: THM/119. (40 boxes)
Guy Little, solicitor to Gabrielle Enthoven, made this photographic collection for her archives, and it forms a key source for photographs of 19th century drama, dance and opera. The collection contains cartes de visite, cabinet photographs, and some portrait panels, and covers many major names from the 1860s to circa 1900, both in costume and in portraits. The majority of these photographs are studio studies, although there are indications that some photographs may have been taken on the stage. Guy Little removed the photographic prints from their backing boards and loose mounted them into albums. To ensure the preservation of the now fragile original prints, the albums have been re-photographed, retaining Little's original captioning and layout. This archive has been digitised and can be found on the V&A's Search the Collections website. Archive reference number: THM/246.
Papers relating to H. M. Tennent productions, comprising correspondence, contracts, accounts, and material relating to engagement of cast and terms of employment. The material is filed alphabeticaly by title of production. Archive reference number: THM/178. (13 boxes)
Bound volumes of photographs of H.M. Tennent playbills and playbills for the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and Company of Four productions; bound volumes and files of photographs of settings for H.M. Tennent productions, including some groundplans; Bound volume of photographs relating to Russian tour of Othello (1955); loose photographs. Archive reference number: THM/338.
Financial papers and correspondence documenting H.M. Tennent, the leading West End production management during the 1940s and 1950s. During this time the company had many leading actors under contract and produced a series of revivals as well as new plays by such authors as Terence Rattigan, designed by the leading theatre designers of the day. This collection relates to the productions of H. M. Tennent and associated companies. Archive reference number: THM/53.
Harley Granville Barker began his stage career as an actor in a provincial company, before first appearing in London in 1892. He went on to have a career on the stage, acting with many well known names such as Ben Greet. He was associated with the Stage Society and later moved into theatre management, working at the Duke of York's Theatre, the Savoy, and St James's among others. He also worked on the adaptation of plays. This collection includes an account book, press cuttings books and playbills relating to productions by Harley Granville Barker at the Savoy, St James's and Little Theatres. Archive reference number: THM320 (see also main archive - THM/147)
A collection of scrapbooks and photographic albums collected by mime artist Harold Cheshire and relating to his career in Britain, Europe and the United States. The scrapbooks contain press cuttings, programmes, correspondence, posters, playbills, and photographs. Archive reference number: THM/105. (4 boxes)
The collection mainly consists of play texts and note books by the author Helen Jerome as well as a small collection of theatre programmes, newspaper cuttings, and a poster relating to her plays. The collection includes the text for Jerome's most well known play 'Pride and Prejudice'. Also included are several different versions of the plays 'Jenny With The Light Brown Hair', and 'Charlotte Corday'; a 1959 musical version of 'Pride & Prejudice'; and a manuscript probably for 'Catherine the Great'. Archive reference number: THM/157. (3 boxes)
Manuscripts; notebooks; draft notes for articles, lectures and speeches; typescripts of articles, notes and speeches; autograph letters; printed playtexts and cuttings - all the work of playwright Henry Arthur Jones or concerning theatre of his day. The collection also comprised manuscripts which have now been incorporated in the Core Library collections. Archive reference number: THM/154. (18 boxes; volumes)
Herbert Beerbohm Tree was a successful actor manager, renowned for his productions of Shakespeare, while also keeping an eye of innovations in the field. He made his amateur debut as an actor in 1876, and turned professional in 1878. As well as running several theatres, he undertook many foreign tours and made a name for himself in America as well as in Britain. He founded the Academy of Dramatic Art (later to become RADA) in 1904, and was knighted in 1909. In 1882 he married Helen Maud Holt, an actress who frequently was to appear on stage with him. His daughter Viola was also an actress. This collection contains letters to Herbert and Maud Tree, acting marked scripts of Hamlet and Macbeth, speeches and books. Archive reference number: THM/160. (1 box)
Herbert Hinkins was an expert on, and collector of, toy theatre sheets and models. This collection consists of oversize sheets of prints, foreign and British; also made-up theatres (flattened for storage) with various proscenium arches, backdrops and characters. It also contains play sets (texts with related engraved sheets). The toy theatre material contained in this collection was printed at home and abroad throughout the 19th century and continues as late as the 1950s, including items such as the Sooty cut-out theatres that were printed on the back of Kellogg's cornflake packets in the 1950s. Archive reference number: THM/235. (161 boxes)
Historical references for period costume designs and a record of the career of Herbert Norris, designer for plays, pageants and films. The collection consists mainly of his notebooks, but includes press cuttings, photographic records and illustrations of Norris designs, and some original designs and reference drawings. Archive reference number: THM/190. (12 boxes)
Two cuttings albums relating to His Majesty's Theatre, compiled by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Beerbohm Tree built Her Majesty's Theatre in 1897. It became known as His Majesty's Theatre during the reigns of Edward VII, George V and George VI. This collection also includes a quantity of material relating to the royalties of Chu Chin Chow. Chu Chin Chow, a play by Oscar Ashe with music by Frederic Norton, opened at His Majesty's Theatre on 31 August 1916. It ran for 2,238 performances and was revived at the Palace Theatre in London in 1940, and again in 1941. These papers mainly relate to royalties earned in later periods from revivals world wide, although there are some earlier agreements dating from the 1910s. Archive reference number: THM/170. (3 boxes)
This collection was given to the V&A as part of the Dick Playle collection. It consists of a selection of newspaper cuttings, personal notes and correspondance, contracts and a larger number of programmes and playbills relating to the performances of Horace and Edna Mashford.
Houston Rogers was one of London's leading theatre photographers from the 1930s until his death in 1970. By the end of the 1930s he had covered many important West End productions, including John Gielgud's Queen's Theatre seasons in 1937 and 1938. However, a large proportion of his photographs from this period were destroyed during the Second World War. After the War, Rogers resumed his photography, covering drama, dance, opera. He photographed most of the West End non-Tennent productions, and was almost the sole photographer of both ballet and opera at the Royal Opera House during the 1950 and 1960s, producing photographs of productions and also portrait studies of singers and dancers in costume and make-up. This collection contains photographic prints, exhibition prints, colour transparencies, and negatives. Prints exist of most of the 'approved' negatives. Archive reference number: THM/245.
Material relating to the company Howard & Wyndham Ltd, which ran Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre and also leased other theatres in Scotland. The collection also contains material relating to their running of theatres in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, comprising bound scripts for pantomimes and the revue 'Half Past Eight', bound volumes of daily bills, business records and 4 scrapbooks devoted to productions of 'Peter Pan'.
This collection consists of an album of letters, dating from the 1920s to the 1940s, and eleven photograph albums. Correspondents include many prominent names of the theatre, including Edna Best, Robert Donat, Edith Evans, Jean Forbes Robertson, Oliver Messel, and Sybil Thorndike. The photograph albums were Beaumont's personal albums, recording many productions and stars from the period when he was Managing Director of H.M. Tennent. Archive reference number: THM/93. (12 albums)
Administrative papers consisting of files of correspondence, minutes, agendas, agreements, etc. relating to Ian Albery's varied business interests including: Donmar Warehouse, London Festival Ballet/English National Ballet, Maybox Group plc., Theatre Arts Society, The Stage Company Ltd., The Theatre Club/Independent Arts Club, The Theatre of Comedy Company Ltd., The Theatres Trust, Ticketmaster, Society of West End Theatre. Other material includes the following: Records of Wyndham Theatres Ltd, including the Criterion, New/Albery and Wyndhams - contracts, ledgers etc. Records of individual productions, including press cuttings. Albery family papers. Photographs. Records of the Criterion Exhibition 1972. Eartha Kitt Collection. Archive reference number: THM/158.
Recording, correspondence, photographs, books and libretti, mostly relating to opera in the first half of the 20th century relating to Ida and (Mary) Louise Cook, born in Sunderland in 1904 and 1901 respectively. Archive reference number: THM/340.
A collection of scrapbooks, press cuttings, scripts and correspondence relating to the Incorporated Stage Society. The Society was founded in 1899 'to regenerate the Drama' - ie for the production of plays which otherwise stood little chance of commercial production. This collection came from the archives of the Society itself. They were a society with a limited membership which produced plays in the West End on Sunday nights and they produced more than 200 plays, including those by Shaw, Hauptmann, Chekhov, Ibsen, Wedekind and Cocteau. The Society continued until the outbreak of the war in 1939 when its work fell into abeyance. Archive reference number: THM/136. (36 boxes)
Records of the first amateur dramatic club in Great Britain. The collection mainly consists of albums of production photographs (1936-1973), annual reports (1935-1976), and minute books (1860-1976), although it also includes some programmes and press cuttings. Archive reference number: THM/137. (24 boxes)
Collection of photocopy letters written by J L Toole, actor. Toole was one of the leading light comedians of the second half of the 19th century. A close friend of Henry Irving, in 1879 he took over the Charing Cross/Folly Theatre and renamed it Toole's. The majority of these letters are to Toole's brother, Francis. The originals of these letters are in the University of Rochester Library, New York. Archive reference number: THM/268.
Jack Buchanan, an actor, manager and producer, made his stage debut in 1912, and by 1922 was in management on his own account, producing and starring in a string of musical comedies. Buchanan was a leading musical comedy star, often starring in his own stage productions and in the films made from them. This collection comprises the material amassed by Michael Marshall for his biography of Buchanan (Top hat & tails: the story of Jack Buchanan. London, Elm Tree Books. 1978). Some of the playscripts were probably never performed or produced by Buchanan. Archive reference number: THM/80. (31 boxes)
A collection relating to the career of Jack Buchanan and including photographs, scrapbooks, letters, souvenir programmes, music sheets, music, scripts, magazines, and souvenir programmes. Jack Buchanan was an actor, manager and producer who made his stage debut in 1912 and went on to star in many productions in London and New York, as well as appearing in several films. Archive reference number: THM/79. (6 boxes)
Scrapbooks relating to the life and career of Jack Cole between 1919 and 1955. A dancer, choreographer and sometime actor, Cole became known as an innovative and creative choreographer for both musicals and films. These scrapbooks include material relating to Cole's association with Ruth St Denis, Ted Shawn, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. They include letters, photographs, programmes and cuttings and are ornamented with drawings and decorative backgrounds. Two scrapbooks contained loose cuttings, which have been removed and boxed separately. Archive reference number: THM/106. (7 scrapbooks, 2 boxes of loose cuttings)
Papers relating to Jack Hylton, band leader, theatre manager, theatre agent, and producer. The collection is not comprehensive but includes examples of many aspects of theatre production. It includes papers relating to: Earl's Court Circus and Funfair (licenses, box office returns); Jack Hylton Band (press cuttings, contracts); financial information relating to Hylton productions; files on the Gigli tours (correspondence, finance, booking records); show files; Hylton Theatrical Agency papers; licences and agreements with various regional theatre. The archive also contains material relating to the Adelphi Theatre in the 1940s and 1950s. Archive reference number: THM/134. (23 boxes)
Material relating to and collected by Jack Keates, formerly manager of the Theatre Royal, Brighton. The collection includes a quantity of programmes, cuttings and posters, mostly relating to the Theatre Royal, Brighton, and the New Theatre Oxford, as well as many provincial programmes dating from the late 19th century to the 1970s. The collection also contains material relating to F. A. Renshaw, actor and concert performer, and some scripts, many of which relate to the actress and writer Winifred Shelley (nee Keates). Archive reference number: THM/167. (23 boxes)
Georg Jacobi (1840-1906) was a violinist by training and won the premier prix for violin at the Paris Conservatoire. He also studied composition with Reber, Gevaert and Cheri. He became conductor at the Bouffes-Parisiens in 1869, directing many Offenbach performances and composing some operettas. On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War he was engaged as conductor for the 1871-2 season at the Alhambra in London and remained for 26 years, composing 103 ballets and divertissements. The Alhambra ballet did much to revive interest in ballet in London during this period, paving the way for the Diaghilev Ballet. The collection contains 63 of Jacobi's ballet and opera scores, together with two incidental music scores for Irving at the Lyceum (Robespierre and The Dead Heart). Some ballet scores contain details of the action and a few diagrams or photographs. The scrapbook covers Jacobi's career from 1854 to 1882. Archive reference number: THM/140. (54 boxes)
A collection of graphic works by the artists, Jamie Reid, produced for the Sex Pistols. The collection also contains items designed for Bow Wow Wow, Dead Kennedys, and The Front Line. Archive reference number: THM/224. (8 boxes)
A collection of material amassed and created by Joan Lawson, including notebooks and miscellaneous writings on ballet technique and ballet history; typescripts of articles and books written by Lawson; reviews and comments on classes and performances. The collection also includes her notes on dance teaching, ballet syllabi and exercises; press cuttings relating to her career; and contracts between Lawson and various publishers. Joan Lawson trained as a dancer with Serafina Astafieva, and went on to teach and write books and articles on technique and history of dance. She worked with the Royal Academy of Dancing, The Royal Ballet School, and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. The collection contains material relating to ballet, national dance, and court dance. Archive reference number: THM/251. (3 boxes)
A collection of material relating to John Braham, formed by James Winston. John Braham (1774-1856) was one of the leading singers of the 19th century. He began his career aged ten, and went on to tour Europe, before being engaged by Covent Garden in 1801. During his 65 year career he performed at all the major London theatres including Covent Garden and Drury Lane, in the provinces, across Europe, and in America. Although most of his career was spent on the popular stage, he was also known for his bel canto in opera. His performances commanded high fees, and enabled him to build St James' Theatre in 1835. Many of the playbills in this collection are for Mr Braham's Benefits, and include performances of The Devil's Bridge, The English Fleet, The Cabinet, and False Alarms. The collection also includes: correspondence; a manuscript 'Short Biographical Sketch of Mr Braham', covering his career up to 1800; cheques for payment for appearances at Drury Lane; press cuttings; ephemera. This collection was part of a much larger collection of material accumulated by James Winston while manager of Drury Lane Theatre. The archive was split up, presumably after his death and the dispersal of his library in 1849. A large portion of the archive is in the British Library. Archive reference number:THM/35 (1 box)
The papers relate to two particular periods in John Casson's theatrical career: His imprisonment as a POW in Stalag Luft III and Casson's work at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow in the immediate post-war period. The papers from his imprisonment relate to performances in Stalag Luft III, where Casson was incarcerated for most of WWII. They include a booklet recording the astonishing number of productions produced by the POWs, as well as lecture notes for Casson's talks to his fellow inmates. The material from Casson's time in Glasgow include a group of letters from James Bridie, who was on the Citizens' board at that time. They relate to the choice and production of plays. Archive reference number: THM/34.
Designs by John Gower Parks (1904-1955). The collection includes Gower Parks's work for the Hollywell Players, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, and for theatres in London, Cambridge and Glasgow, and designs for balls and pageants. Archive reference number: THM/148. (11 boxes)
This collection consists of 13 large cuttings albums relating to John Martin Harvey's career: 1895-1902; 1902-1903; 1903-1905; 1905-19-7; 1907-1909; 1909-1911; 1912-1913; 1913-1916; 1913-1914 (Canadian tour); 1923 (Canadian tour); 1924-1927; 1927-1932; 1929-1932. It also includes 2 boxes of miscellaneous personal papers. The actor-manager Sir John Martin Harvey (1863-1944), made his first stage appearance in 1881; in 1882 he joined Irving's company at the Lyceum, where he stayed for 14 years. In 1899 he began his own management of the Lyceum, after which he established himself as a leading romantic actor and an outstanding manager. He was knighted in 1921. Archive reference number: THM/161.
Scrapbooks of theatre reviews and editorial/feature pieces by John Shand, drama critic for The Sunday Referee, the Manchester Guardian and other newspapers, including some relevant cast sheets and programmes 1931-4 and 1938. Archive reference number: THM/209. (5 volumes)
John Whiting (1917-1963) trained as an actor at RADA in the 1930s, and after war service spent three years acting at York Repertory Theatre where he wrote his first play Saint's Day which he followed with A Penny for a Song. By 1953 Whiting had written two other stage plays, Marching Song, and The Gates of Summer. Since neither play received much critical success, Whiting concentrated on working on film and radio scripts. In 1960 he was persuaded by Peter Hall to write a play, The Devils for the first London season of the RSC. This collection of typescripts, correspondence, programmes, notes and cuttings, all relate to his career in theatre, film and radio. Archive reference number: THM/222. (38 boxes)
Joseph Henry Pitt was a violinist and Musical Director. He worked with Henry Irving's company in 1893 and 1899-1902 at the Lyceum theatre and on tour with them in Britain and North America. The collection consists of material relating to Pitt's musical training and career. Includes diary, manuscript music, contracts, programmes and photographs. Archive reference number: THM/135.
18 boxes containing director's notes for: work with Peter Gill, 2001; Donmar Warehouse, 2000; World Music (Donmar Warehouse); Vagina Monologues (UK tour); Children's Day (Royal Court); international residencies (Royal Court); Dangerous Corner (Watford, 1999); Loyal Women (Royal Court); Hotbed Festival, 2004. Archive reference number: THM/342
A collection of ephemera and original sketches relating to pantomime and 19th century entertainment. This collection includes printed texts of pantomimes, correspondence, and notes. Archive reference number: THM/98. (1 box)
The collection is mostly research material relating to Kenneth Barrow's biographies of Flora Robson, Robert Donat, Helen Hayes, Clemence Dane, theatrical dames and the history of the Q Theatre. There is also material relating to The Golden Bond, a 'spectacular revue' written by Kenneth Barrow, music by David Aman, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the National Union of Townswomen's Guilds. Archive reference number: THM/64. (12 boxes)
The King George Pension Fund for Actors and Actresses, was founded in 1911 on the profits of the George V Coronation Gala. With the permission of King George, the £4,628 profit was deposited to form the nucleus of a pension Fund for aged actors and actresses. From 1913 onwards, additional Funds were raised through annual all-star galas, charity performances and film premieres in aid of the Fund. Other sources of income have included private donations, bequests and public appeals. The greater part of this archive consists of minutes, agendas and accounts relating to the day-to-day running of the Fund. In addition there are administrative and financial papers for one-off appeals including names of subscribers, as well as some appeal leaflets and gala programmes. There is one file of newspaper cuttings, and another of miscellaneous papers mainly relating to deceased members of the Fund. Archive reference number: THM/121. (14 files)
Manuscript notes and notebooks on theatre buildings and productions, mainly in London but including some provincial, compiled by L.H. Davis from newspapers and books. Archive reference number: THM/96. (13 boxes)
Research materials including family papers, scrapbooks, correspondence, speeches and ephemera. The collection, relating to Sir Henry Irving, was compiled by his grandson, Laurence Irving, and was used as the basis for his book 'Henry Irving: the actor and the world' (London, 1951), and other works on Henry Irving and Irving family members. Archive reference number: THM/37 (34 boxes)
Research materials including diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence and manuscipts relating to Sir Henry Irving, H. B. Irving, Laurence Irving, Dorothea Baird, and Lady Florence Irving. The collection was compiled by Henry Irving's grandson, Laurence Irving, and was used as the basis for his later books on Henry Irving and other Irving family members. Archive reference number:THM/39 (19 boxes)
Correspondence and administrative files, papers, programmes, scrapbooks and photographs relating to Western Theatre Ballet (1957-1969) and the founding and early years of Northern Dance Theatre (1969-1975). Western Theatre Ballet was founded by Elizabeth West and Peter Darrell in 1957 and was intended to be the first British regional ballet company, performing in Bristol and the West Country for about 3 months of the year. In 1969 the company moved its activities to Glasgow and became Scottish Ballet under the direction of Peter Darrell. Northern Dance Theatre was founded in 1969 and was based in Manchester and, mostly, the north of England. The administrative files include all the papers relating to the setting up and funding of the company, correspondence with composers, choreographers and designers, and routine management. Archive reference number: THM/230.
Documents and account books relating to The League of Audiences, founded in 1934 by Alfred Wareing to secure State subsidy for the theatre. Also material relating to The Music and Drama Bill, 1938; the Repertory Theatre Movement and theatre and theatrical personalities of the period, especially James Barrie. Archive reference number: THM/149. (7 boxes)
Lez Brotherston is one of the most interesting and prolific designers working in theatre and dance. Lez trained at Central School of Art and Design and graduated in 1984. Lez is especially linked with Matthew Bourne's dance company, New Adventures (formerly called Adventures in Motion Pictures) for which he designed Highland Fling, Swan Lake, The Car Man, Cinderella, Play Without Words and Edward Scissorhands. The V&A Theatre Collections already holds an important selection of Brotherston's work (135 designs in the design collection) and this archive complements our existing holdings. Archive reference number: THM/350.
A collection of material relating to the career of Rudolf von Laban, including a large file of cuttings, programmes, typescripts and drawings relating to his early career. The collection also contains material relating to dancers and dance from the 1920s until the 1970s, including Robert Joffrey Ballet, Dansgroep Lea Daan, Sigurd Leeder School of Dance, Harald Kreutzberg, Martha Graham, Kurt Jooss, and Alwin Nikolais, amongst others. Also contained in this collection are spatial drawings by Rudolf Laban relating to bodies in movement, designs for buildings, and dynamic space. Archive reference number: THM/253. (3 boxes)
Photographer Lisel Haas worked in Birmingham from the early 1940s until 1962. She photographed almost every production at the Birmingham Rep at a time when many promising young British actors appeared there - including Paul Scofield, John Neville, Albert Finney, Richard Pasco, Ian Richardson, and Derek Jacobi. This collection mainly consists of negatives and photographs of productions at the Birmingham Rep, 1953-1961, and at the Birmingham Crescent Theatre in 1962, 1963, and 1965. Haas also covered productions at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, and the Kidderminster Playhouse. Archive reference number: THM/164.
Little Tich (real name Harry Relph) was a music-hall entertainer born on 21 July 1867. He was most famous as an 'eccentric dancer' and as a character comedian, with notable routines including the "big boot" dance and stock characters such as "Little Miss Turpentine". His talents and his agility were closely related to his physical characteristics, in particular his stature (he was four feet six inches tall) and the fact that he was double jointed. He was successful not only in the London Music Halls (where he was one of the leading performers by the 1890s) but also in the United States and in France. He was also a major pantomime star, notably at Drury Lane. His highly visual comic routines influenced both stage and early film performers internationally, and he was one of the most well-known music-hall and variety acts of all time. Little Tich married three times and had two children. An accidental blow to the head while on stage in 1927 led to a stroke, and he died on 10 February 1928. This collection contains 4 photograph and cuttings albums relating to Little Tich, his third wife Winifred Relph (nee Ivey, who performed as Ivy Latimer) and his daughter Mary Relph. Archive reference number: THM/326
The London Archives of the Dance was created under a Trust Deed in 1945, 'to supply for London and the British Isles the amenities already afforded by Les Archives Internationales de la Danse in Paris, and the Dance Archives in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.' The Archives were to be available to all dance students, teachers and members of the public and aimed to cover all aspects of dance, theatrical and social, as well as the related arts. The nucleus of the collection was the material amassed by the Ballet Guild, comprising some 3,000 items including books, programmes, souvenirs, pictures and ephemera, and this was added to by gift and purchase. Most notable among the early acquisitions were the collection of music scores composed by Georges Jacobi for the Alhambra ballets in the 1890s and early 1900s, the Bolitho music collection, with its excellent coverage of 18th and 19th century scores, and the Margaret Rolfe collection of Taglioni memorabilia and papers. Among collections bequeathed to the Archives were Lionel Bradley and Pigeon Crowle's papers. It was hoped to find suitable premises to house, display and make available the collection, but funds were not forthcoming. Eventually much of the collection came to rest in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing headquarters, while part, including some designs, 3-d objects and the Margaret Rolfe material were held by Cyril Beaumont. This meant that, when the collection was transferred to the Theatre Museum, part remained with Beaumont; this latter part came to the Museum on Beaumont's death, but, by that time, it had become inextricably mixed with Beaumont's own papers and collections. A great deal of the collection, including the photographs and many of the programmes and press cuttings, have already been absorbed into the main collection at Covent Garden. These 23 boxes are the remainder, including correspondence relating to administration of the Archives and the Ballet Guild, subscriptions, and enquiries; accounts; acquisitions books; trustee meeting minutes and agenda; material relating to and collected by Lionel Bradley, and material relating to and collected by Pigeon Crowle. Archive reference number: THM/238. (23 boxes)
Records of shares and transfers relating to London Pavilion Ltd. This collection includes share ledgers, minute books, engagement books and salary books relating to variety acts and Music-halls in Great Britain (mainly London and Oxford) between 1889 and the 1950s. This collection provides an insight into standards and the diversity of acts appearing in variety and music hall. Archive reference number: THM/171. (28 boxes)
Louis Calvert (1859-1924) was the son of actor Charles Calvert and his actress wife, herself the daughter of a well-known provincial actor, James Biddles. His early career was spent in South Africa and Australia, but on his return to England he appeared with many distinguished companies, including Irving's and Mrs Langtry's. In 1890 he formed his own production company, presenting many Shakespearean productions as well as Ibsen. From a distinguished career, in London and New York, he is probably best remembered for his appearances in Shaw's John Bull's Other Island, You Never Can Tell and Major Barbara. This collection includes letters from Shaw relating to Calvert's role as Broadbent in John Bull's Other Island, and a prompt book for School for Scandal which includes notes relating to other productions of the play, including those by Tree and Daly. Archive reference number: THM/68. (2 boxes)
A collection of programmes, playbills, photographs and press cuttings relating to the career of the English ballet dancer, Lydia Sokolova. The collection also includes a wig and ballet shoes worn by Sokolova. Archive reference number: THM/306.
Posters and photographs recording productions at the Lyric, Hammersmith, including the Company of Four, between 1945 and 1962. The photographs are mostly signed and mounted display photographs taken by Angus McBean. Archive reference number: THM/175. (21 boxes)
A collection of material relating mainly to theatre in the 19th century, and to toy theatre representations of theatre at this time. This collection includes sets of engraved sheets with books of words produced by 19th century print sellers intended for performance in toy theatres; engravings of actors, actresses, scenes and theatre buildings that were reproduced in toy theatre form. Also included are playbills and press cuttings. Archive reference number: THM/234. (47 boxes)
Margaret Power was a well known figure among the balletgoers of the 1930s, with a number of friends among the dancers of the Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. This small collection relates to both the performers she saw and the dancers she knew as friends, including Tatiana Riabouchinska and Thomas Armour. It includes scrapbooks, photograph albums, and correspondence relating to, among others, the Vic-Wells Ballet, Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil, Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, and the Bolshoi Ballet. Archive reference number: THM/176. (4 boxes)
Collection of material relating to the preparation, research, administration and contents of the exhibitions entitled 'The Seventh Star: an exhibition of the history of Exeter's theatres', held at the Great Hall, Exeter University in November 1967. The exhibition coincided with the opening of the Northcott Theatre, and traced the history of theatre in Exeter from medieval times. The collection includes files containing copies of playbills dating from the 1770s to the 1890s, research notes, photocopies of documents relating to theatrical performers in the city dating from 14th to the 16th century, programmes, and presscuttings. The collection also contains notes on theatre in Exeter, notes on the background to the exhibition, paperwork and correspondence relating to the loan of objects from various museums, articles, a printed catalogue of the exhibition, and index cards. Archive reference number: THM/42. (5 boxes)
Seven photograph albums, covering twelve plays starring Marie Tempest between 1912 and 1914: The Marriage of Kitty (Playhouse 1914), Thank Your Ladyship (Playhouse 1914), Dropping the Baby (Playhouse 1914), Mary Goes First (Playhouse 1913), The Wynmartens (Playhouse 1914), The Duke of Killiecrankie (Playhouse 1914), Art and Opportunity (Prince of Wales 1912), The Handful (Prince of Wales 1913), An Imaginary Conversation (Prince of Wales 1912), The Dumb and the Blind (Prince of Wales 1912), The Malingerer (Prince of Wales 1912), Esther Castways (Prince of Wales 1913). Archive reference number: THM/220. (7 boxes)
Three photograph albums relating to Marie Tempest. This collection includes one album relating to 'Honeymoon' (Royalty Theatre 1911), and two snapshot albums showing Marie Tempest in India, Malaya, Hong Kong, Shanghai, China and New Zealand. Archive reference number: THM/221.
Material relating to the career of actress Martita Hunt. Born in 1900, Hunt made her first stage appearance in the 1920s with the Liverpool Repertory Company, before going on to work in the West End. She joined the Old Vic in 1929, where she played many roles from Lady Macbeth to Rosalind. She returned to work in the West End in the 1930s although her first major success in a leading role was in the States in Jean Giraudoux's 'The Madwoman of Chaillot'. She also appeared in many films, notably as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. This collection also contains a book of published photographs of the actress, Ethel Griffiths. Archive reference number: THM/132. (7 boxes)
Maude Lloyd was a leading dancer with the Ballet Club (later Ballet Rambert) and a close friend and collaborator of many important figures of the 1930s and 40s. This collection contains photographs of her and others, including Margot Fonteyn, Martha Graham, Anton Dolin, and Tamara Karsavina, as well as loose press cuttings relating to ballet and dance of this period. The major part of the collection consists of scrapbooks which hold a complete run of the dance criticism of Alexander Bland (the name under which Lloyd and her husband, Nigel Gosling, wrote dance criticism) from 1952 to 1982. Alexander Bland was dance critic for The Observer. Archive reference number: THM/252. (3 boxes)
Small quantity of material relating to productions by the Melville family. This collection includes poster designs by E.P. Kinsella for 'The worst woman in London', and for 'The good companions'; pen & ink illustrations by E.P. Kinsella for productions; programme for 'The worst woman in London' at the Music Hall, Sydney, and for 'Hamlet' at the Lyceum in 1939; typescript of 'The worst woman in London'; and a small collection of black and white photographs, mostly of the Melville family. Archive reference number: THM/192. (1 box)
This collection of papers was inherited by Andrew Melville (1912-1988) and deals with productions by members of the Melville family at various theatres, from the late 19th-century to the mid 20th-century. A great deal of this collection deals with melodramas and pantomimes produced by the actor-managers and writers Walter (1875-1937) and Frederick Melville (1876-1938). They were two of eight children, who all began their careers by acting, the sons and daughters of the 19th-century actor and theatre manager Andrew Melville, and his actress and dancer wife. Both Walter and Frederick started acting in Birmingham where their father was manager of the Grand Theatre. The Melvilles produced Melodramas at the turn of the century in London theatres including the Elephant and Castle; the Standard Theatre; the Brixton Theatre and the Terriss Theatre. For 25 years Walter and Frederick were joint proprietors of the Lyceum Theatre where they made a tradition of the Lyceum pantomimes, mostly written by Frederick Melville. Both were successful writers of melodrama. In 1911 they built the Prince's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Frederick's daughter June (1915-1970) was an actress who appeared at Brixton and the Lyceum Theatres and played principal boy at Brixton 1935-36, where she became manager in 1938. Andrew Melville (1912-1988) was Walter & Frederick's nephew, the son of their brother (also called Andrew). He began his acting career in 1926 at the Brighton Grand Theatre, worked at the Brixton rep from 1931-1933 and subsequently acted and was ASM rising to actor-manager at the Lyceum from 1938-1939. From 1939-1956 he was manager of the Watford Palace Theatre where he produced an annual pantomime. He was co-director at the Richmond Theatre 1947-50, and from 1957 was General Manager and Licensee of the Princes Theatre. Harald Melvill (without the final 'e') seems to have descended from another branch of the family, but was also an actor who played in pantomime, a playwright and an artist. Archive reference number: THM/150. (67 boxes)
The Metropolitan Ballet was founded by Cecilia Blatch and Leon Hepner in 1948 It was largely financed by Blatch and, unable to attract official funding, it ceased to operate after two years. The company presented small-scale versions of standard works such as Swan Lake Act II and Les Sylphides and established repertory such as La Spectre de la rose. It also presented new works by choreographers who included Andree Howard, Frank Staff, Rosella Hightower and John Taras, whose work Designs with strings was among the company's most popular productions. The company included several Danish dancers such as Frank Schauffus, Paul Gnatt and Erik Bruhn, French dancers such as Colette Marchand and Serge Perrault, and the Russian-trained Sonia Arova and Svetlana Beriosova. Teachers included Victor Gsovsky, Nicholas Beriosov and Celia Franca, and among the designers was the painter Leonard Rosoman. The conductor John Lanchbery began his career with the company. The archive consists of photographs, correspondence and press cuttings, as well as a few miscellaneous items such as one design, some music, programmes and notes. Archive reference number: THM/327.
Theatre, ballet and opera designs by Michael Annals (1938-1990). This includes work for the National Theatre (including The Royal Hunt of the Sun, 1964), the Royal Opera, London Festival Ballet and Glyndebourne, and work for productions in the West End and in America. Comprises set and costume designs (352), drawings on tracing paper (35), dyelines (82), miscellaneous drawings (20), photographic costume copies (159), models (7), posters (5), telegrams (6), press albums (2), prints (1), first night presents (5), lamp used in Long Day's Journey into Night, 1973 (1), and production photographs, programmes, reference material and photographs, and letters. Trained at Hornsey College of Art, Michael Annals became a leading British stage designer. His first major success was with Peter Schaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun, which he designed at the age of 25. He worked at, among others, the National Theatre, the RSC, Glyndebourne and on Broadway, designing everything from plays for major theatres to ballet, opera and film. Archive reference number: THM/49. (18 boxes)
Comprehensive archive covering Benthall's career as director, which included notable Shakespearean productions at Stratford in the late 1940s and at the Old Vic, of which he was Director from 1953 to 1961 (initiating and carrying out the Five Year Plan), as well as plays and operas in London and New York. Archive reference number: THM/69. (44 boxes)
Financial information relating to particular plays produced by Michael Codron Ltd. This collection comprises box office returns and records of income of various productions. Archive reference number: THM/27 (4 boxes) Michael Codron started working as a producer in his 20s, setting up his company Michael Codron Ltd after a few years in the trade. He became known as an independent impresario, discovering and financing his own plays. He put on, among others, Harold Pinter's first full length play 'The Birthday Party' and Joe Orton's first play 'Entertaining Mr Sloane', gaining a reputation for producing works by writers previously unknown, including Simon Gray, David Hare, Pinter, and Orton.
The archive contains material such as photographs, correspondence and programmes relating to the career of stage lighting designer and one of the founding members of the Association of Lighting Designers and the Society of British Theatre Designers, Michael Northen (1921-2001). Archive reference number: THM/299.
Archive relating to The Devil Bird, a theatre sketch owned, adapted and performed by the actress Millie Howes, 19th century Music Hall performer. Millie Howes was the stage name of Jane Bartlett, who bought the sketch from its author, Frederick Bowyer, in September 1886. Archive reference number: THM/71. (2 boxes)
Theatre Company set up by Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, and Kika Markham. This collection consists of press cuttings, photographs, production management files, scripts and correspondence with the Arts Council. Archive reference number: THM/318 (34 boxes)
Murray MacDonald was a director who, with his companion Kenneth Carten, had many friends in theatre and entertainment, and whose personal collection this comprises. The archive includes cuttings albums, photograph albums, scripts and diaries. Archive reference number: THM/189. (10 boxes)
Myrette Morven, originally from Scotland, was a singer and actress who appeared in many important musicals in the 1920s, especially the big Drury Lane musicals 'Rose Marie', 1925; 'The desert song', 1927 and 'Showboat'. She continued her career until the 1950s, in straight plays as well as musicals, appearing in productions including 'Something in the air', and 'Palace', 1944, in which she understudied and appeared for Cicely Courtneidge. This collection comprises souvenir programmes, programmes, photographs, silk programmes, press cuttings relating to musicals, and memorabilia, relating to Myrette Morven and her career Archive reference number: THM/183. (5 boxes)
Scrapbooks and manuscript notes relating to theatre from the early 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. This collection includes: manuscript notes on performers and performances on the Norwich circuit in the 18th century; a folder of pages from Moulin Rouge souvenir programmes; theatrical diaries and notes covering the late 19th century and early 20th century. Archive reference number: THM/103. (4 boxes)
Material, mainly scripts, relating to the acting and teaching career of Nancy Price, from the early 1900s. The scripts include playscripts, radio and film scripts. Nancy Price made her debut with Frank Benson's company and her career as an actress was long and varied, embracing radio and film and well as a number of distinguished roles in the theatre. She was also a highly regarded manager and director, and in 1930 founded the People's National Theatre. Archive reference number: THM/199. (39 boxes)
Material relating to Nancy Price's career as an actress and her work with the People's National Theatre. This collection mainly consists of press cuttings and photographs. Nancy Price made her debut with Frank Benson's company and her career as an actress was long and varied, embracing radio and film as well and a number if distinguished roles in the theatre. She was also a highly regarded manager and director and in 1930 founded the People's National Theatre. Archive reference number: THM/200. (18 boxes)
The National Art Library's holdings include items on the history of the theatre arts, and on design in general. The Library also contains collections on literature donated in the 19th century by Alexander Dyce and John Forster. These include works by many English dramatists of the 16th and 17th centuries, plus 40 volumes of correspondence by David Garrick. Other collections of relevance include: the Piot Collection of books on 17th, 18th and 19th century spectacle; the Osbert Lancaster Collection of comic art and humour; and the Larionov Collection of works by Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova for theatre and opera in Europe (especially Russia and France).; The Computer Catalogue is available at http://catalogue.nal.vam.ac.uk. This contains entries for all material acquired since 1987, plus a large proportion of earlier acquisitions. The remaining older catalogues, including those for the Forster and Dyce Collections, are currently being converted. The Computer Catalogue also includes some entries from material held by the Theatre Museum, a branch of the V&A. National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum,
The Scala Theatre was a theatre in London, sited on Charlotte Street, off Tottenham Court Road, in the London Borough of Camden. The first theatre on the site opened in 1772, and the theatre was demolished in 1969, after being destroyed by fire. From 1865-82, the theatre was known as the Prince of Wales's Theatre. The collection contains photographs and programmes of New Scala Theatre (London) productions dating largely from the 1930s. Very few of the photographs are identified. Archive reference number: THM/389 (1 box)
This archive consists of scripts and working drafts of plays and adaptations of plays by Norman Ginsbury, along with correspondence, cuttings and programmes relating to his work. Norman Ginsbury (1903-1991) was a British dramatist who specialised in plays based on historical fact, his most successful plays being Viceroy Sarah, 1934 and The First Gentleman, 1945. Ibsen's plays were a passion of Ginsbury's, and he prepared English versions of nine of them, working from literal translations. The collection provides a valuable record of Ginsbury's career, whilst also showing the working methods of a playwright. His correspondence includes letters from some of the most eminent theatrical personalities of his day, including Edith Evans, Tyrone Guthrie and Sybil Thorndike. Archive reference number: THM/117. (47 boxes)
A collection of photographs of productions at the Gate Theatre between 1931 and 1939, and of mounted display photographs taken at the Everyman Theatre, 1927-1931. Norman Marshall took over the direction of the Gate Theatre from its founder, Peter Godfrey, in 1934 and directed most of the plays there until 1939. Archive reference number: THM/240.
Photographs, typescripts, correspondence, programmes, periodicals, cuttings, and miscellaneous ephemera collected by the actor O.B. Clarence (1870-1955), who began his career in 1890 taking part in a sketch in Music Hall at the Old Trocadero. Clarence went on to tour with Frank Benson's Company, with Ben Greet's Company, and also worked with Herbert Beerbohm Tree playing Simple in the 'Coronation' revival of Much Ado About Nothing. O.B. Clarence had a long career playing with many of the best-known actors in the British theatre of the first 40 years of the 20th century and acted hundreds of parts in films and in the West End. Archive reference number: THM/78. (2 boxes)
Material relating to the Old Vic Company and the Young Vic, mostly dating from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The collection includes business records, including box office receipt books and account books. Archive reference number: THM/205. (25 boxes)
Material relating to the career of Olga Lindo, actress 1899-1968, a prolific and wide ranging performer, most famous as a formidable Sadie Thompson in Rain. This collection consists of correspondence with other members of the theatre profession. Archive reference number: THM/186. (1 box)
This is the largest collection of Oliver Messel's theatre designs in the world, consisting of approximately 10,000 items. It provides comprehensive coverage of Messel's costume and set designs for ballet, theatre, opera and film productions from 1932 to 1973, and also shows his creative process and working methods from initial idea and sketch through to finished design. There are costume and set designs, sketches, set model pieces, photographs, fabric samples, colour palettes, costume and set notes. Messel's decorative art and interior design commissions in Great Britain, United States and the West Indies are also covered in some depth. Additionally, there are some personal papers, photographs and reference materials. Archive reference number: THM/321.
Oscar Lewenstein (born 1917) was a theatrical manager. After a spell as General Manager of the Glasgow Unity Theatre and with Anthony Hawtrey at the Embassy Theatre, he became General Manager of the Royal Court in 1952. In 1954 he began presenting plays and became a founder member of the English Stage Company Ltd; since then he has been associated with some of the most important 'new wave' productions, including 'A taste of honey', 'Billy Liar', 'The hostage', 'The long and the short and the tall', 'Luther', 'What the butler saw', 'Loot', and many Brecht plays and French translations, including 'Baal', 'The threepenny opera', 'St Joan of the stockyards', 'Rhinoceros' and 'The Blacks'. The collection includes correspondence, publicity material, photographs, production tapes and records, programmes, cuttings albums, scene plots and ground plans. Archive reference number: THM/255. (65 boxes)
Nancy Hewins ([1902']-1978) founded the Isis Players, an amateur all-women company that played Shakespeare in East End elementary schools. The company turned professional in 1927. With a maximum of seven female members playing all the parts and operating the lighting and scenery, the company toured the British Isles performing plays by Shakespeare, Shaw, Sheridan and others until 1963. Archive reference number: THM/302
Records of the Meadow Players, the resident professional company at the Oxford Playhouse and other theatres when under the direction of Frank Hauser, 1956-1974. The collection covers all aspects of theatre organisation, including photographs, administrative papers, production files, contracts, budgets, subsidy, music, programmes, and a few designs. Archive reference number: THM/152. (114 boxes)
Objects, costumes and printed material relating to the career of Pansy Chinery, known as Alar the Human Arrow, an English acrobat and dancer who specialised in 'speciality acts' including teeth-spinning and being shot from a giant crossbow. She appeared with several troupes, including 'The Zedoras' with whom she appeared in Barnum and Bailey's Circus. Archive reference number: THM/70. (5 boxes)
A collection of commercial postcards covering the Edwardian period, and photographs of film actors and actresses of the 1920s and 1930s, amassed by actor Percy Coyte. The photographs are mostly signed. Archive reference number: THM/59. (2 boxes)
Records of Peter Bridge Productions during the 1960s, including box office returns, financial papers, production plots (lighting, ground plans), press cuttings. Productions covered include: 'The promise', 'Come spy with me', 'Diary of a madman', 'Volpone', 'Six of one', 'On approval', 'Wait until dark', 'On the brighter side', 'How the other half loves', 'A funny thing happened on the way to the forum', 'Finian's rainbow'. Archive reference number: THM/256. (53 boxes)
A collection relating to the career of Peter Cotes, a leading post-war producer and director who, although often remembered as the first director of 'The Mousetrap', had a distinguished career in the little theatres and the West End, and was also one of the first directors of drama on television. The collection includes: press cutting albums relating to Peter Cotes and Joan Miller's individual careers and joint projects on stage, and in film and television, 1930s to the 1980s; photographs of Cotes and Miller; production photographs; correspondence and papers relating to plays produced and/or directed by Cotes; administrative papers; personal and professional correspondence; agreements; financial papers; scripts, including play, television, and radio scripts, and related correspondence; audio tapes of radio interviews, programmes, and plays; programmes; posters and playbills; paintings of Joan Miller; material relating to court cases involving Cotes. The collection also contains material relating to Cotes's wife, Joan Miller, who starred in many of his productions on stage, film and television. This includes correspondence; programmes for Stratford productions, 1957; rehearsal schedules; press cuttings. Also in the archive is material relating to Beatrix Thomson, including portrait photographs, snapshots, production photographs, many of productions at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, 1942-1944; correspondence; contracts; press cuttings. Trained at RADA, Thomson acted in a wide range of roles in the West End and smaller London theatres, and on film. She was the manager of the Grafton Theatre in 1931, and also wrote plays. Archive number: THM/29
Peter Daubeny (1921-1975) was a leading impresario of the post-war period, known for the organisation of 11 World Theatre Seasons at the Aldwych Theatre from 1964 until 1975 (with no season in 1974). This collection includes programmes for some of the World Theatre Season productions; programmes & pamphlets relating to foreign companies and theatre abroad; books; posters; and photographs. Archive reference numbering: THM/85. (4 boxes)
Production photographs (individual and mounted on panels for display) for the Gate Theatre, 1925-1934. Most of the photographs are by Pollard Crowther. The Gate Theatre was an important club theatre of its day. Founded in 1925 by Peter Godfrey, it stood in one of the bars underneath the arches of Charing Cross Station in Villiers Street. Godfrey specialised in unlicensed and uncommercial plays, often in translation, including works by Jean Cocteau, Eugene O'Neill and Ernst Toller. The Gate Theatre also held a yearly intimate revue. Peter Godfrey was succeeded in 1934 by Norman Marshall.
This collection consists of the correspondence, papers, work notes, translations, desk diaries, memorabilia and designs of Peter Streuli and provides an insight into the progression of his long career. Archive reference number: THM/382.
A collection of letters from various members of the theatrical profession to Philip Gibbons, including some programmes, cuttings and photographs. The main bulk of the correspondence is from William Squire, and covers major periods of his career, including his early days at the Birmingham Rep, his time at Stratford in the 1940s, and the tour of American with Camelot in the 1960s. Other correspondants include Edgar Wreford, Douglas Milvain, Ralph Adron, and William Corderoy. Archive reference number: THM/116. (2 boxes)
A collection of posters and designs collected by Philip Granville. The designs are for costumes mainly relating to the Folies Bergeres in the 1920s, and include designs by Charles Gesmar, Felix de Gray, Jose de Zamora, and Zig. The posters date from the late 20th century and include those for theatre productions from around the world, including Croatia, Belarus, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, and the United States. Archive reference number: THM/169.
Illustrations of performers and performances, many of them relating to music-hall and mostly dating from the late 19th century to 1914, taken from contemporary illustrated periodicals and mounted into scrapbooks. Archive reference Number: THM/243. (16 boxes)
Eight vocal scores or piano arrangements of Russian operas and ballets, usually Russian editions. Each score has the signature 'Serge Emilu Prokofieff' but it is not clear whether this has any connection with the composer Serge Prokofieff. Archive reference number: THM/247. (2 boxes)
The archive of Prospect Productions theatre company, covering the company's history from its founding in 1960 to its demise, due to the withdrawal of Arts Council funding, in 1981. The archive contains production records and financial and administrative papers relating to the company productions, tours (national and international) and to its tenure at the Old Vic. Archive reference number: THM/260.
Typescripts, contracts, correspondence and other material relating to the careers of playwright and librettist Reginald Arkell (1882 - 1959), and Elizabeth Arkell. Archive reference number: THM/67. (3 boxes)
Papers relating to the Renaissance Theatre Company, covering the period 1986-1992. The company was founded by the actor and director, Kenneth Branagh, and the administrator, David Parfitt, and began operating under the name 'Renaissance' in 1987. It became one of Britain's major touring companies, taking its productions of Shakespeare on national and international tours, and attracting leading actors, such as Derek Jacobi and Judi Dench, to direct productions in a reaction against the 'director's theatre' of companies such as the RSC. The collection includes material on 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Public Enemy', 'Napoleon', 'Twelfth Night', 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Hamlet', 'As You Like It', 'Look Back in Anger', 'Napoleon: the American Story', King Lear', A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Uncle Vanya', 'Coriolanus', 'Scenes from a Marriage', 'Travelling Tales'. Archive reference number: THM/10 (32 boxes)
Correspondence relating to the Diaghilev Exhibition held at the College of Art in Edinburgh in 1954 and subsequently at Forbes House in London. The collection includes correspondence with many of the artists, composers and choreographers who worked with the Diaghilev Ballet, artists who worked on subjects taken from the Diaghilev Ballet, artists who worked on the design and setting up of the exhibition in Edinburgh and Forbes House and many well-known names, connected either through patronage or as members of the audience. Archive reference number: THM/231. (4 boxes)
Research material amassed by Richard Findlater for his books Little Tich: Giant of the Music Hall (with Mary Tich [Ralph Powell]), At the Royal Court: 25 Years of the English Stage Company and The Player Queens. Archive reference number: THM/162. (8 boxes)
The material in this collection originates in Richard Matthews dissertation. The topic of the dissertation was Martin E. Browne. Much of the material are published materials (books, pamphlets, journal issues, photocopies, etc) of articles or book reviews written by Martin E. Browne. Some items appear to have been owned by Martin E. Browne and then passed on to Richard P. Matthews. His dissertation and drafts of sections thereof are also included. As are a number of reel tapes containing interviews with Martin E. Browne and others. Furthermore some transcriptions of letters or copies of correspondence between Martin E. Browne and others can be found. Archive reference number: THM/380.
A miscellaneous collection of ephemera collected by Richard Vincent Hughes, a leading member of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild. The collection includes framed reliefs (Shakespeare); brass relief of Charles Dickens; wax reliefs; prints; portraits; toy theatre sheets; small quantities of material relating to Grimaldi and Shakespeare; Performing Animals Defence League literature. Archive reference number: THM/131. (14 boxes)
The photographs were Robert Coote's personal collection and include photographs of his stage and film career, friends and colleagues, personal snapshots of both people and places and photographs of his parents on and off stage. Robert Coote (1909-1982) came from a long line of theatrical performers, his great grandfather being Charles Coote, his grandfather Robert Coote the composer and his father Bert Coote, successful actor and vaudeville performer in England and America, who married actresss Ada Russell. Robert Coote had a long and varied career, appearing in plays and musicals in England and Australia before going to Hollywood in the mid 1930s. After the Second World War he returned to Hollywood and then established himself in both Broadway and London theatres. Archive reference number: THM/241. (3 boxes)
Material relating to Robert Paterson's career as music agent in the popular music field, handling tours and appearances for, among others, David Cassidy, Marlene Dietrich, Neil Diamond, and Barry Manilow. He also worked with classical muscians, including Andre Previn. This collection mainly comprises Paterson's appointment diaries from 1964 to 1981, though it does also include some correspondence, press cuttings and photographs. Archive reference number: THM/207. (10 boxes)
A collection of material relating to the career of Robert Sielle and his dancing partner, Annette Mills. This collection gives an insight into a neglected area of dance in the early 20th century, is an important part of the cross over history where social dance and professional dance meet, and shows how ballroom dances were devised and promoted by the professional performers. Archive number: THM/27 (3 boxes) Robert Sielle (also known as C. L. Roberts) and Annette Mills (sister of John Mills) were exhibition ballroom dancing partners during the 1920s - often called 'the English Astaires'. Sielle is credited with introducing the Charleston into England, and he and Mills also promoted the Black Bottom and invented several ballroom dances, of which the most famous was the Moochi. These dances were performed in theatres, hotels, casinos and public ballrooms; Sielle and Mills also taught the dances themselves and to other dance teachers. They also appeared in musicals most notably in the Fred and Adele Astaire roles in the No 1 tour of 'Lady be good'. Sielle also appeared in Prisoner of War camp entertainment. Robert Sielle (nee C L Roberts) and Annette Mills (sister of John Mills) were exhibition ballroom dancing partners during the 1920s ' often called 'the English Astaires'. Sielle is credited with introducing the Charleston into England, and he and Mills also promoted the Black Bottom and invented several ballroom dances, of which the most famous was the Moochi. These dances were performed in theatres, hotels, casinos and public ballrooms; Sielle and Mills also taught the dances themselves and to other dance teachers. They also appeared in musicals most notably in the Fred and Adele Astaire roles in the No 1 tour of Lady be Good. Sielle also appeared in Prisoner of War camp entertainments. The collection includes press cuttings relating to the partnership, photographs of the pair, posters, programmes, financial records, contracts, and correspondence, including some correspondence with John Mills. (THM/28) (3 boxes); V&A Theatre Collections,
Scripts and papers relating to the career of Robertson Hare, one of the most accomplished comedy actors of his generation. Hare, Tom Walls and Ralph Lynn worked with Ben Travers and others to establish the Aldwych farces in the 1920s and 1930s. Archive reference number: THM/177. (9 boxes)
Ronald Jeans, (b.1887) first embarked on a career as a stockbroker, from 1904-1911. After 1911, however, Ronald Jeans was primarily responsible for the founding of the Liverpool Repertory Theatre. In 1938, with J.B.Priestly, he founded the London Mask Theatre Company, which operated in the Westminster Theatre, 1938-39. He is best known however as author of many revues in the 1920s, including Buzz Buzz with Arthur Wimperis (1918); Still Dancing (1925), and Cochran's Revue (1926). This was his own collection of material relating to his career, containing scrapbooks, printed texts of revues by Jeans, press cuttings, and programmes. Archive reference number: THM/141. (13 boxes)
This collection is made up of the records of the Round House, followed by the records of Open Space. The records of the Round House consist of company management, financial and administration records and the records of the management and marketing of individual productions on the Round House main stage and Downstairs, art exhibitions and other events, including photographs and plans for individual productions. The records of Open Space consist of company management, financial and administration records and records of the management and marketing of individual productions, including photographs and plans. Archive reference number: THM/271.
Collection of material relating to the career of Stanley Holloway. Holloway (1890-1982) made over 50 films during his career, but he also worked frequently in the theatre. He began his career working in concert parties, and made his first West End appearance in the Co-Optimists' show in 1929. This collection includes legal documents relating to assignment of performing rights, song sheets and musical scores, correspondence, and scrapbooks, including one scrapbook relating to his son, Julian Holloway, in the role of Alfred P. Doolittle. Archive reference number: THM/18 (7 boxes)
Samuel French was a leading play publisher from the second half of the 19th century, eventually absorbing the earlier play publisher Lacy's. The Archive represents business transactions spanning a period from the early nineteenth century to the 1950s. It includes administrative papers, correspondence, account books, ledgers, and legal papers. Archive reference number: THM/123. (38 G boxes)
Samuel French was a leading play publisher from the second half of the 19th century, eventually absorbing the earlier play publisher Lacy's. The texts include much information about the original production, including designs and moves, as many of the texts were aimed at amateur play societies. Archive reference number: THM/125. (130 boxes)
A quantity of photographs, press cuttings and programmes realting to the career of the ventriloquist, pantomime and variety performer, Sandra Wells. Born Ruth Lilian Clarke in 1906, Wells started doing repertory at the Theatre Royal, Margate, where she played mostly comedy and character parts. She eventually went into variety, and became the flamenco dancer Janita. In 1934 she married Mark Bennett, director of the Bennett Brothers Variety Show, and she toured with them in England and abroad with a song and dance act until 1940, during which time she was known as Joy Wilby. She joined ENSA during the Second World War, and entertained troops at home and in Western Europe. In 1946 she assumed her final stage name of Sandra Wells, and became a ventriloquist, one of the very few female ventriloquists of this time. In 1953, she took over Bobby Vernon's cat costume and spent the rest of her stage career in pantomime, starring alongside comedians including Richard Hearne, Bud Flannagan, and Tommy Trinder. Archive reference number: THM/242. (1 box)
The Save London's Theatres Campaign was set up in 1972 by the trade union British Actors' Equity to campaign against the Greater London Council's Covent garden Plan, which would have resulted in the demolition of 12 London theatres and the probable loss of a further 4 as working venues. Following this successful first campaign, the organisation continued to lobby on behalf of theatre buildings and performance venues in Greater London and the Home Counties. The Campaign has worked with local authority planning departments, especially Westminster City Council, Equity and other trade unions, the Theatres Advisory Council and the Theatres Trust, while maintaining links with theatres themselves. The Campaign has been run by a Committee made up of representatives of the London Equity Branches; the Musicians Union; Covent Garden Community Association; the Soho Society; groups and individuals with particular expertise and theatre experience; and members of the public. Material in the collection includes case files, day files and press cuttings relating to campaigns to save various theatres, mainly in London and south-east England. Archive reference number: THM/316.
A collection of material relating to theatrical productions and architectural projects carried out by Sean Kenny in the 1960s and 1970s. This collection includes groundplans, sketches, photographs, slides, scrapbooks, press cuttings, films and tapes, correspondence, and models. Archive reference number: THM/166. (14 boxes)
Family papers of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Elizabeth Ann Linley including their marriage articles (1772), associated deeds and documents, the diaries of William Linley, younger brother of Elizabeth (1834 and 1835), and manuscript extracts from Thomas Moore's Life of Sheridan (1825) made in the year of publication. Archive reference number: THM/313.
The twenty three press albums were compiled by or for Wolfit, and give a comprehensive account of his stage work through press notices/programmes from 1921 to 1967. The pre-Second World War volumes include his work at the Old Vic (1929-30), West End and Stratford-upon-Avon, where he played Antony and King Lear in Komisarjevsky's productions of 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1936) and 'King Lear' (1937). They also cover productions by his own Shakespearian company in association with Phyllis Neilson-Terry. The war years are well documented with reference to provincial and ENSA tours, and the celebrated St James' seasons in London in 1942-43 which saw Donald Wolfit's King Lear. Sir Donald left these albums to the author and playwright Ronald Harwood, who joined Wolfit's company in the 1950s as actor and dresser to Wolfit. Ronald Harwood published his biography of Wolfit in 1971. Archive reference number: THM/43. (23 volumes)
Copies of business papers from the Lyceum theatre at the time of Henry Irving's management, including accounts for costumes, salary list, electric and lime plots for various productions. The collection also includes documents relating to tours. Archive reference number: THM/210. (1 box)
This archive consists of the personal and business correspondence, photographs, diaries and papers of Sir Michael Redgrave, and provides much information relating to his career and personal life. The archive includes, to a lesser extent, material relating to the Redgrave family as a whole, including his parents Margaret Scudamore and Roy Redgrave, his wife, Rachel Kempson, and children, Vanessa, Corin and Lynn. Including material such as scrapbooks, programmes, press cuttings, posters, scripts and contracts, the archive covers both Michael Redgrave's personal and public life. It relates to his performances on stage and on film, as well as his thoughts and feelings concerning his career, friends, colleagues and family. Archive reference number: THM/31 (204 boxes)
This collection consists of small deposits of archival material received from various sources, and placed together into one collection in order to facilitate collection management. The collections include: Letters and ephemera relating to E. H. Sothern and the plays David Garrick; Gertie's Garter by E.H. Sothern; and Lord Dundready, Married and Settled by H.J. Byron and E.H. Sothern Theatre Royal Newcastle, 12 and 13 April 1883. Replies to fan letters, signed photographs, postcards and ephemera relating to 20th century actors, including John Gielgud, Flora Robson, Rex Harrison and Yvonne Arnaud, 1927-1939 Photographs of puppets, toy theatres and other artefacts owned by George Speaight (1914-2005); taken by Norbert Neumann following George Speaight's funeral, 9 January 2006. Manuscript notes and lists compiled by the comedian and character actor William Cuthbert (William Edwin Luker), [187-]-1916. Papers relating to the will and estate of Gertrude Norman, 1961-1964. Papers relating to the career of Mary Barclay, 1961-1964 Archive reference number: THM/323.
The archive consists of the administrative and artistic management papers of the Sphinx Theatre Company (formerly the Women's Theatre Group) from its beginnings in 1973 to 2005. The main core of the archive consists of production management files, photographs, press cuttings, company and productions accounts, and the papers of the writers' group. Also contained in the archive is the material relating to the 'Glass Ceiling' events on women and theatre which have been organised by the company since 1991. Archive reference number: THM/322.
A collection of cast lists from programmes of regional productions, collected by The Spotlight. The Spotlight was founded in 1927 and publishes casting directories. Archive reference number: THM/5 (73 boxes)
Cash books, account books and ledgers relating to the St James's Theatre, 1911-1957, mainly dealing with box office and front of house returns. The collection also includes records of bar, cloakroom and programme takings. Archive reference number: THM/214. (11 boxes)
Scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings and photographs about actress Sybil Thorndike; her actor and producer husband Sir Lewis Casson and their daughters, Mary and Ann Casson who both acted from childhood. The majority are reviews of plays, including G.B. Shaw's St Joan and Major Barbara, but there are also articles by and about the Cassons. Heavily annotated Rehearsal scripts pasted into scrapbooks for two productions of Macbeth, and G.B. Shaw's St Joan; copies of other plays and a book draft of Theatre Testament by Kay Poulton, for which Lewis Casson was writing the forward. Various honours including honorary degrees and a medal from the 'Quinzaine Anglo-Americaine', in 1945. Items range in date from 1916-1947, though most are from between 1924 and 1930. Archive reference number: THM/33. (10 boxes)
Material relating to Sybil Ward, actress and writer. Ward enacted Shakespearean plays single-handedly in costume, with quick change effects made in full view of the audience. She also did trilingual performances (in English, French, and German), and miscellaneous character impersonations. This archive contains letters from people such as Sir Edward German, St. John Ervine, Frank Speaight, George Arliss, and O. B. Clarence. Many are replies to Sibyl Ward's letters asking for work. The archive also contains letters from, and material relating to, Samuel L. Hasluck, with whom Ward ran the Regent Street Polytechnic and the Academies of Dramatic Art, an elocution academy. There are also several letters from the secretary to Princess Helena Victoria von Schleswig-Holstein, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in reply to Sibyl Ward's attempts to secure her patronage. Sibyl Ward worked as private secretary to Sir Henry Knollys between her theatrical work, and the archive contains many letters to her from him and his wofe, Lady Flora Knollys. Archive reference number: THM/250. (1 box)
A collection of material collected by and relating to Sydney Carroll, actor, manager, critic, and editor, including cuttings books, copies of articles and plays by Carroll. The collection also contains material relating to the research carried out by Carroll's daughter whilst researching the biography, 'Out in the open'. Archive reference number: THM/104. (12 boxes)
The records of Talawa Theatre Company consist of the records of the administration of the company, records relating to the putting on of individual productions including relevant photographs, audio-visual recordings, press cuttings and prompt scripts. The collection also contains the Blackgrounds and Blackstage oral history projects, the records of various projects with young people and theatre practitioners and the records of Talawa's fundraising project for a home for Black theatre. Archive reference number: TTC.
A collection of material maintained by the Temba Theatre Company including press cuttings, scripts, and photographs relating to the Temba Theatre Company and to Black Theatre as a whole. The collection includes material relating to Black Theatre Forum, Black Theatre Co-operative, Theatre of Black Women, the Festival for Racial Harmony, and the Black Theatre Seasons 1986-1990. Also included in this collection are reviews relating to Shakespeare and Black Theatre, and personal files including those relating to Alby James and other prominent members of the profession. Archive reference number: THM/77. (9 boxes)
Material, including scripts, contracts, financial and business papers, programmes and correspondence, relating to the Repertory Players. Founded in 1921 out of a Sunday Society that began life in 1920 as 'Merely Players', the society was founded and run by actors. It produced around eight new plays a year, in both the provinces and the West End. Archive reference number: THM/202.
Administration papers, mainly financial, including wage sheets, accommodation and travel expenses, work schedules, tour dates and repertory. This collection also includes material relating to the Canadian Tour 1967, and European Tour 1968. Archive reference number: THM/193. (2 boxes)
The Theatre Girls' Club was founded by Mrs Edward Compton (Virginia Bateman) in 1914 to provide reasonably priced and sheltered temporary accommodation for young actresses, especially during rehearsals (which were not always paid at that period) or when they were looking for work. The Club originally opened in Little Portland Street, but in 1916 it moved to the site of the Soho Club and Home for Working Girls at 59 Greek Street, Soho. The club flourished through to the 1950s, but fell into disuse in the late 1950s and 1960s. This collection includes account books, minute books, room allocation registers, and correspondence. Archive reference number: THM/211. (3 boxes)
Time Out Magazine, a weekly listings magazine, was first published in 1968 as a guide for Londoners. The Time Out Company now publishes magazines for New York, Paris and London as well as 57 other cities. The collection comprises of a selection of photographs taken for the magazine of West End and Fringe productions. Archive reference number: THM/329. (7 boxes)
Tito Gobbi became a world-famous operatic Baritone after his singing career began in the late 1930s. He performed in all the major opera houses in the world, and made many films; in his later years he taught Masterclasses at his operatic school near Florence. He was also an accomplished cartoonist and landscape artist. This collection, given by his wife after he died, contains some examples of his own artwork.It also includes his make-up box, make-up and brushes; and material relating to his career, including programmes, press cuttings, diaries. The Theatre Museum also holds some costumes which belonged to Gobbi. Archive reference Number: THM/133. (6 boxes)
Tom Heslewood, born 1868, was an actor and costume designer. This collection, however, refers entirely to his work as a costume designer and contains: original costume designs and reference drawings; reference prints, including French prints, some collected for dress reference; typed text of the play Charles I, pasted into a volume, each page faced with reference images of dress in the reign of Charles I; large costume reference scrapbooks made by Tom Heslewood, arranged in reigns of British monarchs and also covering various subjects such as children, clergy, 18th century France etc. Archive reference number: THM/128. (11 boxes)
The entire collection relates to the career of General Tom Thumb - Charles Sherwood Stratton who was 'discovered' by Phineas T. Barnum and first exhibited by him in his American Museum in New York in 1842. In 1844 he made his first appearance at the Princess's Theatre in London and on subsequently toured England and the continent. This collection includes music sheet covers, playbills, lithographs and photographs relating to the career of Tom Thumb. Archive reference number: THM/225. (3 boxes); V&A Theatre Collections,
Tommy Appleby was Manager of the Opera House in Manchester during the 1960s and 1970s. These photographs, mostly signed and dedicated to him, hung in his office. Archive reference number: THM/286. (2 boxes)
The collection covers the career of Edgar Bruce, actor and one time manager of the Prince of Wales and Globe Theatres, and his daughter, Tonie Edgar Bruce (also known as Sybil Etonia Bruce). Part of the material relates to Edgar Bruce's command performance of The Colonel before Queen Victoria and the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1881. Archive reference number: THM/57. (4 boxes)
The Tricycle Theatre opened on the Kilburn High Road, London, in 1980 as the permanent home of the Wakefield Tricycle Company, a touring theatre company that was known for producing British premieres, new writing, children's shows and theatre for the community in London and the South East. After securing the support of the London Borough of Brent, the GLA and the Arts Council, the company began work converting an old music and dance Forester's Hall on the Kilburn High Road into what is now known as the Tricycle Theatre. Since the theatre opened its doors, its mission has been to produce work that attracts and reflects the culturally diverse communities in the local area, including its Irish, African-Caribbean, Asian, Jewish and South African audiences. The archive includes records relating to company history and management, education, production management and press and publicity management. It also includes photographs, posters and audio-visual material. Archive reference number: THM/317.
The archive consists of the personal papers, business correspondence, personal and production photographs, providing much information about the stage career of Trixie Scales and some material relating her husband, stage director Pat Anslow Austin between 1928-1970s. The extensive range of production photos, publicity shots and personal photographs provides an unusual and detailed insight into the costumes and stage sets of famous West End revue shows of the 1920s and 1930s, particularly those of Andre Charlot. Letters in this archive include one from Will Hay to Trixie Scales's mother, and letters to Trixie herself from John Mills, Frankie Howerd, and Edwina Mountbatten. There are also several original posters from productions featuring Trixie Scales. Later material includes correspondence about the Trixie Scales Theatrical Agency, which she later formed. Trixie Scales was also known as Julie Anslow later in her career. Two stage director's books belonging to Pat Austin are also included in the archive. Archive reference number: THM/47. (5 boxes)
The archive of the Unity Theatre consists of seven individual series: albums of photographs and press cuttings; management papers and accounts; periodicals; documents, manuscripts and publications recording the history of the Unity Theatre; subject files relating to Unity Theatre's organisation or history; files relating to individual Unity Theatre productions, 1936-1994; scripts for plays and other work produced by Unity Theatre. Archive reference number: THM/9 (58 boxes)
Valentine Gross was an art student in Paris during the pre-1914 Ballets russes seasons. During performances she made rough sketches, which she later worked up into pencil or coloured drawings. Among the subjects covered are Nijinsky in various roles, including Le Sacre du Printemps. Included in the collection are both her preliminary sketches made during performance, a selection of more finished drawings, and a group of pastels showing groupings for Le Sacre du Printemps. There are also 97 files containing photographs, press cuttings, programme sheets and her manuscript notes on a wide range of dance and theatre subjects. Archive reference number: THM/165. (7 boxes)
Press cuttings, mostly from The Performer, Billboard, and World's Fair, of articles written by the donor, Bert Ross, covering variety performers and performances 1933-1937 and 1939. Archive reference number: THM/212. (7 volumes)
Records of Sadler's Wells and Old Vic Theatre and the companies founded by Lilian Baylis: the Old Vic drama company, the Sadler's Wells Opera, and the Vic Wells/Sadler's Wells Ballet (now the Royal Ballet), their performances in London and on tour. The collection also contains some general material relating to Shakespeare. Archive reference number: THM/237. (88 boxes)
These scrapbooks contain press cuttings relating mainly to The Royal Ballet and major visiting dance companies to London from the 1950s to 1987. Most cuttings record performances by The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet Touring Company/Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, although Festival Ballet and various visiting companies are also represented. There is extensive coverage of repertory performances and interviews with individual artists and general articles. The cuttings are not identified but most are from the specialist dance magazines, Dance and Dancers, Dancing Times and, less frequently, Ballet Today, and the daily and weekly press, mostly The Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Observer. There are, however, a significant number from the tabloid press, especially for the more 'sensational' stories, such as Fonteyn's alleged revolutionary activities and imprisonment in 1959, and interviews with individuals in the 1960s. Archive reference number: THM/187. (7 boxes)
Comprehensive collection of the work of the designer, Voytek (b.1925), covering the period 1947-1990 and comprising set and costume designs, model pieces, stage and ground plans, working drawings, photographs, production notes, letters, press cuttings and programmes. The collection covers Voytek's early work as a student at the Old Vic School and his designs for many of the major regional theatres and touring companies, including Nottingham Playhouse, Dublin's Abbey Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse and Shared Experience, and for the West End and the RSC. Archive reference number: THM/153. (15 boxes)
A collection of papers, cuttings, photographs etc, relating to the career of actor Walter Hudd (b. 1898). Hudd made his first appearance on the stage at the Theatre Royal, Aldershot, in 1919. He subsequently toured with Fred Terry and made his first appearance in London at the Everyman in 1923. He played Guildenstern in the 'modern dress' Hamlet, and in 1933 was Montague in Richard of Bordeaux, also substituting as Richard in Gielgud's absence. From Oct 1942 until July 1945 he toured with his own Company for CEMA. He joined the Shakespeare Memorial Company, Stratford, for the 1947 season, and as well a prolific career as an actor, he also directed, wrote several plays and acted in films after 1935. Archive reference number: THM/129. (6 boxes)
A large collection of files relating to various aspects of theatre ownership, legal issues, royalties and administration between 1920s and 1950s, with the emphasis on the early 1940s, from the files of Walter Payne, one time President of SWET. Among the files are papers relating to SWET 1942-1948, the Musicians' Union, the ownership and leasing of the London Pavilion, the London Theatre Council, CEMA, the Theatres National Committee, NATKE, royalties, C B Cochran, to the 1919 arbitration on Music Hall contracts, Entertainment Tax, Licensing laws, Syndicate Theatres Ltd and the Sadler's Wells Fund. Archive reference number: THM/261
Archive relating to the career of the music hall comedian and pantomime artist, Will Judge (1882-1960) and his wife, Gertrude Orchard.This collection includes MSS music hall sketches and songs, contracts, photographs, gag books, sheet music and band parts, and miscellaneous papers, including newspaper cuttings, programmes, business correspondence, MSS music, song lyrics, date books, receipts and visiting cards. Archive reference number: THM/308.
William Poel (1852-1934) was the founder of the Elizabethan Stage Society, 1894, whose work influenced the staging and production of Shakespeare's plays. Poel believed in producing Elizabethan plays in authentic period costume on stages modelled as galleried playhouses, with the minimum of scenery and the maximum of poetic effect. His productions were in complete contrast to the Shakespearean productions of Irving and Tree. He first went on the stage in 1876, acting with Charles Matthews's Company at the Theatre Royal, Bristol, and with various touring companies in Shakespeare and popular comedies, but his main career was as a producer and manager. This collection of ephemera and photographs covers much of his life and work. It includes texts of several of his plays, biographical material, correspondence, prompt books of some of Poel's productions, and material relating to the Poel Centenary performance at the Old Vic, 1952. Archive reference nunber: THM/40.
The Windmill Theatre opened on 22 June 1931 on the site of a former cinema (built 1910), under the ownership of the Windmill Theatre Company Limited (led by Laura Henderson), and the management of Vivian van Damm. The opening production of Inquest! by Michael Barrington was followed by a brief return to film showings. From 3 February 1932 a programme of non-stop variety called Revudeville was introduced: this featured, for the first time on the British stage, the use of "artistic nudes" and eventually drew large audiences. The theatre achieved fame during the Second World War for remaining open (except for a few compulsory days in 1939). The theatre provided early opportunities in the careers of many comedians and entertainers who went on to find international success. When Laura Henderson died in 1944 she left the theatre to Vivian van Damm. After his death in December 1960 the non-stop variety programme was carried on by his daughter Sheila. The theatre was sold to the Compton Cinema Group and closed on 31 October 1964. It became a cinema and casino, before it was bought by Paul Raymond in February 1974 as a home for nude shows. Material relating to the Windmill Theatre and the production of non-stop revue 1932-1964, including press cutting albums, scripts certified by Lord Chamberlain's Office, licences, accounts, photographs, printing blocks, and photographs of Zususi Roboz's drawings of Windmill girls. Archive reference number: THM/257.
Photographs of Windmill Theatre performers and productions, many of which were used in the programmes. Also dressing room and publicity photographs. These photographs were mostly taken by Mr E. Peirce, although some are by an unidentified predecessor, and were officially sanctioned by the theatre. The archives consists mainly of negatives with contact prints attached, many mounted on index cards. There is also one box of larger prints. Archive reference number: THM/334.
Papers, diaries and photographs relating to the career of Vera Fredowa (nee Winifred Edwards), covering her dancing with the Kosloffs, her teaching career in the U.S.A., at the Royal Ballet School, and the Royal Academy of Dancing. Archive reference number: THM/90. (2 boxes)
Winifred Isaac wrote a biography of Ben Greet (Ben Greet and the Old Vic; a biography of Sir Philip Ben Greet [London, 1964 or 5]) and most of this collection relates to her research for the book and her interest in Greet and his circle. The collection also contains a significant amount of correspondence purely about the subscriptions towards the publication and sale of the book. Archive reference number: THM/139. (9 boxes)
A collection consisting mainly of scrapbooks of press cuttings covering dance in Britain and taken from many periodicals and papers. The cuttings are grouped together by company, and are in chronological order. Archive reference number: THM/203.
Photographs of productions at the Theatre Royal, York and York Arts Centre in the 1970s. The collection includes photographs of 'The Birdwatcher', 'The Cherry Orchard', 'Dick Whittington', 'Gaslight', 'The Glass Menagerie', 'Night Must Fall' and 'When the wind blows', among others. Archive reference number: THM/232. (2 boxes)