Folder, titled 'List Of 213 Celebrities', containing material including a list of names and addresses of supporters of C.A.S.T., the Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres, drafts of typed addresses 'by' Noel Coward, original designs for slogans.

[Noel Coward; Alec Clunes, Honorary Treasurer, Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres (C.A.S.T.); Vivien Leigh]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. [London. Circa 1942-1943.]
SKU: 12277

The Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres appears to have been active from January 1943 until at least 1944, with the actor Alec Clunes as Honorary Treasurer. The fourteen items in this collection are in good condition, on aged paper, in a beige card folder carrying the title 'LIST OF 213 CELEBRITIES'. [NB. While the first item described below is likely to be, as its title states, the work of Noel Coward, one other item at least in this collection (present in two versions as nos. 2 and 3 below), while bearing Coward's name, is clearly not written by him, as both versions carry headings stating that they are 'to be signed by Mr. Noel Coward'. The fourteen items are as follows. No. 1: Typed copy of 'What this booklet is about | A message to you from Noel Coward'. 2pp., 4to. The first paragraph reads: 'Every Sunday the streets of English towns are crowded with people. Nearly all of them are in the Forces or on War Work. Sunday is the only day of the week when they are free to enjoy relaxation from the very stiff job of work they are doing to help win the war. They have earned their recreation as thoroughly as men and women have ever earned it and we, in the Theatrical profession, are anxious to give them the entertainment they want on that day. At present the only entertainment available to them on Sunday is the Cinema - if the Cinema happens to be permitted to open on Sound in their particular district, and it they can get in; and the public houses - if you can call public houses entertainment.' The article goes on to allege that 'a prejudiced section of the public, acting on a law made in the sixteenth century, and rival interests which are making large profits out of Sunday trading, have succeeded in restricting the freedom of the very men and women who are fighting and working for them'. Nos. 2 and 3: Two versions of typed 'Draft letter to Celebrities on C.A.S.T. paper to be signed by Mr. Noel Coward.' Each 1p., 4to. Both versions begin with the paragraph: 'Many of us engaged in the various forms of theatrical entertainment have for some time felt very strongly that theatres should be open on Sundays and so provide entertainment for the Forces, War Workers and others fully occupied during the week. Hence the formation of the above organisation.' In the first version this is followed by a paragraph referring to 'your speeches to constituents', in the second version it followed by two paragraphs, relating to the opinions of 'well-known people' and to 'a short expression of your opinion'. Nos. 4-6: Three neatly-drawn designs in pencil and ink for slogans for C.A.S.T., the first on a piece of 19 x 19cm card, reading 'A Message to you from Noel Coward and Vivien Leigh'; the other two both on tracing paper, with the second (19 x 19cm), reading '"Men and women who WORK and FIGHT on SUNDAYS have a right to SUNDAY THEATRES.["]'; the third (35 x 24cm) in black ink and red pencil, with pencil annotation, having the words 'A Message from Noel Coward and Vivien Leigh' enclosed within a representation of a stage, with pink curtains; with wear and chipping to edges. No. 7: Typed copy of 'How the Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres began and who is behind it'. 3pp., 4to. No. 8: Typed page, 1p., 4to, giving 'Objection' and 'The Answer', the first of which reads: 'That Sunday opening of theatres would hinder actors, who wish to do so, from attending church.' No. 9: Typed page, 1p., 4to, headed 'Lantern Slides', giving a list of four C.A.S.T. slogans (2, 'Sunday is a Holiday as well as a Holy Day'; 4, 'If you want Sunday theatres write to Vivien Leigh'), with a couple of additions in pencil. No. 10: Original typed list (not a carbon) of individuals supporting the Campaign of Actors for Sunday Theatres. 7pp., foolscap 8vo. The names and addresses are in roughly alphabetical order, from 'W. L. Andrews, Grey Garth, West Park, Leeds, 6.' to 'G. W. Young, M.A., King's College, W.C.', with around thirty-five entries out of sequence at the end. Included in the list are the names and addresses of Sir Granville Bantock, Sir Arnold Bax, Hilaire Belloc, Sir William Beveridge, Sir Norman Birkett, Sir Adrian Boult, A. J. Cronin, Jacob Epstein, W. A. Foyle, Lord Horder, Julian Huxley, Sir James Jeans, C. E. M. Joad, Sir Alexander Korda, Sir Edwin Lutyens, John Masefield, the Countess of Oxford & Asquith, J. B. Priestley, Viscount Rothermere, Dorothy L. Sayers, George Bernard Shaw, Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Sir Ernest Benn. No. 11: List of seventeen additional names (no addresses). 1p., 4to. From 'Dr. Malcolm Sargent' to 'Prof. Laski'. No. 12: Autograph Letter Signed by Michael Boyle, 12 St. George's Drive, SW1, 10 March 1943, to the Chairman, C.A.S.T., 6-7 Great Newport Street, WC2. 2pp., foolscap 8vo. Boyle writes that he is 'a working member of the Theatre, personally indifferent on the subject of Sunday opening though I appreciate that sanction on this might be beneficial to the theatre; at any rate to the extent that the experiment should be tried.' Nos. 13 and 14: Typed page, 1p., 4to, on 'Business Reply Cards', with printed government circular, 3pp., 4to.