[ Percy Nash, film director and dramatist. ] Large collection of material relating to Nash's musical play 'Clancarty', including correspondence with librettist Stanley West and composer H. Wolseley Charles, accounts, receipts.

Percy Nash [ Percy Cromwell Nash ] (1869-1958), pioneering British film director and dramatist [ H. Wolseley Charles (1889-1962), composer; Stanley West, librettist; Winter Garden Theatre, Drury Lane
Publication details: 
Mainly from London, and dating from between 1930 and 1934.
SKU: 17796

The collection consists of around 140 items, and is in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. It includes two drafts of the play, correspondence with librettist and composer, agents, the syndicate backing the play, a disgruntled contributor, solicitors, theatre managers, and also includes returns, receipts, accounts and projections. It is an interesting case study of the whole process of creating and producing a 'musical dramatic romance' in the England of the Great Depression, from Nash's initial agreements and attempts to interest agents, through a West End production and into the provinces, and disagreements between interested parties. By the end, in 1934, Nash is defending himself against disgruntled collaborators, and writes to librettist Stanley West that he has 'received absolutely NOTHING for his labours', and is 'properly "fed up"' with the whole affair. Work on the musical had begun in 1930, but it was not until 31 July 1933 that The Times reported: 'The Winter Garden Theatre will reopen on August 31 with Clancarty, which is described as a musical dramatic romance. It is an adaptation by Percy Nash, with lyrics by Stanley West, and music by Wolseley Charles, of Tom Taylor's drama "Lady Clancarty", which was first produced at the old Olympic in 1874. Miss Jane Moreland will present the play, with Mr. Nash as producer and with M. Espinosa in charge of the dances. The company will include Mr. Franklin Dyall, Miss Enid Cruickshank, Mr. Dale Smith, Mr. Alec Fraser, Miss Betty Huntley-Wright, and Miss Iris Rowe.' On 24 August 1933 The Times described 'Clancarty' as 'a fine, full-blooded production with a big chorus and plenty of rousing numbers'. Things, as the present collection reveals, were not as rosy as The Times reported on 2 October 1933: '"Clancarty", which has had a month's successful run at the Winter Garden Theatre, will now be shown in the principal suburban theatres before going to the large cities. The tour will begin to-night at the Streatham Hill Theatre, and next week Golders Green will be visited.' The present description is divided into fourteen parts. ONE: Typewritten early draft of the play, with each of the three acts in a different orange folder. 89pp., 4to. Typed in black and red on rectos only. With occasional pencil emendations. In pencil on first page in first folder: 'This is the property of | Percy Nash | 144 Mill Lane | Hampstead NW6 | London'. Epigram: 'Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction - this Play has the advantage of being founded on fact.' Two items are loosely inserted in the first folder: first, a typed list (1p., 4to) headed 'ESTIMATE', giving 'Artistes salaries', 'Staff', 'General Expenses'. At foot: 'Having spent so much money in advertising the name "CLANCARTY["] I think it would be foolish to throw it away, therefore I suggest the new title should be "CLANCARTY THE REBEL["].'; second, three pages of additional text, with two copies of same. TWO: Typescript of revised version of the play, each in a separate red folder. 90pp., 4to. The first copy is in a reused folder, with '"The King! God Bless Him" | Act 4' by Nash on cover; the second and third copies are lettered 'B' and 'C', and both dated December 1933. THREE: Signed Autograph copy of Nash's 'Agreement Clancarty with H W Charles' ('H Wolsely [sic] Charles Esq | Hippodrome Theatre | London | W.' Dated 8 April 1930 and referring to the piece as 'The King! God Bless Him!'. FOUR: 24 items of correspondence with librettist Stanley West. Between 20 September 1930 and 16 January 1934. In the last item, a copy of a letter from Nash to West, 16 January 1934, he writes: I AM THE ONLY ONE, of the bunch of you, who has received absolutely NOTHING for his labours, except "KICKS," and these I have borne to such an extent, that I am now properly "fed up" with everybody and everything connected with "Clancarty["]. | You have already been informed of these particulars, therefore, I can only assume that you accuse me of being a pervertor [sic] of the truth, or that your memory is lacking'. FIVE: 12 items of correspondence with composer H. Wolseley Charles ('Harry') and Bertram Henson, regarding a disagreement between Nash and Henson. In an undated letter Nash writes to Henson: 'I still have every desire to be friendly, and look forward to shaking hands with you again, but during my life, I have never been accustomed, and strongly resent being treated in effect as (to use a vulgar phrase) a "twister".' Between and 23 June and 12 September 1933. SIX: 4 items of regarding the disputed use in 'Clancarty' of two 'numbers' by Marc Anthony: letter from Amery-Parks & Co, London solicitors ('Like many other artists our Client [Anthony] has, unfortunately, been badly hit by the severe depression through which the theatrical business has been passing'), with copies of two replies by Nash; letter to him from H. Wolseley Charles; copy of letter from Nash to Anthony, 12 September 1933 ('I am returning your songs [...] I did my best to get them heard & give a genuine artist a chance of being brought before the public but I did not succeed [...] I am sorry that, unless some financial assistance comes to our aid "Clancarty" will make its exit at an early date'.) SEVEN: 21 items of correspondence with agents Gervase Hughes, George Fearon and A. E. Fournier, including a typed page setting out the terms offered by a 'syndicate' for backing the play. Between 6 May 1931 and 20 June 1933. EIGHT: 8 items of correspondence with Charles Douglas Cox ('Charlie') of the Grand Theatre, Leeds. Includes a confidential four-page typescript ('Sent to Leeds June 1933') including 'Preliminary Expenses' and 'Proposed Cast'. NINE: 21 items relating to syndicate of backers Jane Moorland Limited, including accounts, letters from director Harold Edmonds, and two-page typed description of the company ('formed on 1st September 1933 with a capital of £5000 for the main purpose of producing the Musical Romance "Clancarty" which has been played at the Winter Garden Theatre, Streatham Hill Theatre, Golders Green Hippodrome, and which has now started on an extensive provincial tour'). Between and 18 January and 9 March 1934. TEN: 8 items relating to receipts, including Nash's typed summaries for productions at the Winter Garden Theatre and Streatham Hill Theatre, and further accounts relating to 'Agreement made between Percy Nash and Jane Moorla[n]d Ltd', as well as copies of letters from Nash to H. Wolseley Charles, regarding returns from Sheffield ('Isnt it awful?'), Wimbledon and Hammersmith. Between 12 October and 20 November 1933. ELEVEN: 30 signed summaries of weekly returns for productions of the play at the Winter Garden Theatre, Golders Green Hippodrome, and King's Theatre in Hammersmith. Between 2 September and 18 November 1933. TWELVE: 6 items of correspondence with British Amalgamated Theatres Ltd. Between 19 November 1931 and 5 January 1932. THIRTEEN: 5 items of correspondence with Theodore Goddard & Co, London solicitors, with copies of letters from Nash to H. Wolseley Charles, regarding returns. Between 13 and 23 October 1933. FOURTEEN: Three copies of the printed programme of 'Clancarty' ('A Dramatic Musical Romance'), Winter Garden Theatre, Drury Lane, London [1933].