[William Farren, leading Georgian actor.] Joint (William & John) Autograph Letters Signed (both 'W. Farren') to George Smith of Yarmouth Theatre & his brother John, encouraging John to work on a play for J. R. Planché at the Olympic Theatre, London.

William Farren (1786-1861), leading Georgian actor [James Robinson Planché (1796-1880), dramatist, antiquary and Somerset Herald; Olympic Theatre, London; George and John Smith of Yarmouth]
Publication details: 
30 Brompton Square [London]. 3 September [1838].

Farren's entry in the Oxford DNB concludes by describing him as 'a theatrical sophisticate, equally at home in period comedy and modern plays; he was, besides, one of the finest actors of his century'. From around 1821 Farren lived with the actress Mrs Faucit (Harriet Elizabeth Savill, née Diddear, 1789-1857), with whom he had two sons. An excellent item, casting vivid light on the Olympic Theatre of Madame Vestris and J. R. Planché in its late-Georgian heyday.

[ Wilson Barrett, English actor-manager. ] Autograph Letter Signed to Lady Greville, thanking her for her 'good opinion' of a performance, and complaining of 'heavy pressure of work'.

Wilson Barrett [ William Henry Barrett ] (1846-1904), English manager, actor, and playwright, successful in the field of melodrama
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Royal Princess's Theatre, London ('LESSEE & MANAGER, MR. WILSON BARRETT.'). 10 April 1884.

2pp., 12mo. On first leaf of a bifolium, the blank second leaf of which is laid down on a leaf of yellow paper removed from an album. In good condition, lightly-aged. He thanks her for her letter, '& the good opinion you express upon the performance'. He hopes to accept her invitation when he no longer labours under 'the heavy pressure of work, now rather weighing me down'.

[ Charles Dance, playwright. ] Autograph Letter Signed to 'My dear Kean' [ Charles John Kean ], requesting a box for his performance of Richard II [ at the Princess's Theatre, London ].

Charles Dance (1794-1863), English dramatist who collaborated with James Planché [ Charles John Kean (1811-1868), actor and theatre manager, son of Edmund Kean (1787-1833) ]
Publication details: 
64 Mornington Road, Regent's Park, N.W. [ London ] 4 May 1857.

1p., 12mo. In fair condition, on aged paper. He hopes he is not 'premature' in asking for 'a box for Richard 2d for tomorrow - Tuesday - night!' If he is not he will be 'thankful'; if he is he will 'wait patiently for a future occasion'. Kean's Richard II opened at the Princess's Theatre on 14 March 1857 and ran for 112 nights.

[ Edward Fitzball, writer of melodramas. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Fitzball') to an unnamed recipient, regarding changes to the last scene of his play 'The Haunted Hulk'.

Edward Fitzball (1792-1873), English playwright specialising in melodrama [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster (1797-1882), actor-manager ]
Publication details: 
'Monday Evng.' [ London?, 1831. ]

1p., 12mo. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. He has had a conversation with 'Tomkins', and as a consequence has 'made a few alterations in the last scene of the "Hulk"'. He asks him to read the last scene and 'manage, if possible, to get the Prompter's Copy set right before the reading of the Piece'. He feels his changes make the play 'more original, and more likely to render the Piece effective'. With postscript. 'The Haunted Hulk', a Nautical Drama in two Acts was performed at the Adelphi in 1831.

[ Hal Collier, Victorian popular dramatist. ] Typescripts, with autograph additions, of three of melodramas: '"In the Hands of the Mormons" Or "The Mormon Peril"; 'The Broken Rosary' and 'The Secret Panel'.

Hal Collier, Victorian popular playwright, author of melodramas
Publication details: 
One play with stamp of 209 Northumberland Road, Southampton, the other two without place. All three undated [ Edwardian ].

Collier was the author of a number of melodramas and farces in the period between the Boer War and the Great War, including one written in conjunction with F. H. Dudley, but little is to be discovered about him, with no mention of these three titles. All three items in fair condition, on aged paper, in aged and worn bindings. ONE: '"In the Hands of the Mormons" Or "The Mormon Peril" A Drama in FOUR acts written by Hal Collier'. [1] + 45pp., 4to. Stitched into grey paper wraps. With pencil emendations throughout, including extensive deletions.

['H. E. H.'] A melodramatic murder story, written for Blackwood's Magazine but unpublished, entitled 'Recollections of a Governess | My first Friend', and purporting to be the work of 'Emma', daughter of 'Henry Darrel [...] an Officer in Dragoons'.

'H. E. H.', soi-disant daughter of 'Henry Darrel [...] Officer in Dragoons' [Blackwood's Magazine, Edinburgh]
Publication details: 
Place and date not stated. [England; 1840s.]

56pp., 4to. On wove paper watermarked 'E & S | 1840'. In ruled notebook, in contemporary brown calf half-binding, with marbled boards. In very good condition, lightly-aged and worn. Neatly written out, with a few emendations in pencil. Signed at the end 'H. E. H.' (either the initials of the author or of the narrator 'Emma').

Autograph synopsis and notes by the dramatist and editor of 'Punch' Tom Taylor of part of Act III of his 1866 play 'A Sister's Penance', written with Augustus W. Dubourg.

Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright and comic writer, author of 'The Ticket of Leave Man' (1863) and editor of 'Punch [Augustus W. Dubourg]
Publication details: 
On government letterhead; undated [c.1866].

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The first page headed 'Act III', and the whole tightly-written and filled with deletions, interpolations and marginal notes, providing a valuable insight into the creative process of one of Victorian England's most successful dramatists. The last page breaks off: 'Handeside confesses his own desperate attachment. Markham <...>'. 'A Sister's Penance' was a great success, with 83 performances at the Adelphi between 26 November 1866 and 2 March 1867.

The theatre director's copy of a bound typescript of a provincial production of ' "DRACULA" Adapted from Bram Stoker's world famous novel by REED KENT'. With manuscript emendations and additions, including stage plan.

Reed Kent (pseudonym?) [Bram Stoker; Dracula; Michael Macdona, theatre producer]
Publication details: 
Macdona Productions Ltd, 34 Danbury Street, London. [Performed (in the nineteen-seventies?) at Bognor and Clacton.]

Dimensions 25 x 20 cm: [ii] + 87 pp, all on rectos. Bound in stained yellow wraps, with black tape spine. Well-thumbed, but in fair condition internally, tight, clear and complete. The names of the eight actors are added in pencil in the list of characters. In the first six cases only the christian names are given ('Dracula' is given as 'Alan'), but 'Professor Abraham van Helsing' is played by Andrew Turner, and 'Lucy Westenra' by Jannina Tredwell (who featured in a 1974 revival of the musical 'Hair').

Autograph notes signed (x 5).

Edward Willard
Publication details: 

English actor (1853-1915), admired for his melodramatic villains. The first, to Mr Philip, 14 December 1903, St. James's Theatre, one page, 12mo. "Herewith a cheque for one guinea in exchange for the dinner ticket you sent me a week or so since". The other three all written to Allan Gomme in 1914, with the letterhead 29 St. James's Street. The first of these, March 12, one page, 12mo. "I shall have great pleasure in attending the Inauguration Ceremony of the Burbage Memorial on Monday next, and the luncheon afterwards". The second, March 13, one page 12mo.

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