[Sir Arnold Wesker, playwright.] Two Autograph Cards Signed and three Typed Letters Signed to Philip Dosse, proprietor of Plays and Players, with one Typed Letter Signed from his secretary Margaret Groom.

Sir Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), playwright; his secretary Margaret Groom [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of arts magazines including Books and Bookmen]
Publication details: 
Wesker's letters from 27 Bishop's Road, London N6; his postcards from Munich and Poland. Groom's letter from 25 Glasslyn Road, London N8.

Interesting content. The recipient Philip Dosse was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. The six items are in good condition, lightly aged, and one lightly creased with wear to one edge. The four letters are each 1p, 4to, and folded for postage. One of the letters is signed ‘A. Wesker’, the others ‘Arnold Wesker’. ONE: Wesker TLS, 10 September 1972.

[Basil Ashmore and the Amersham Repertory Players.] Typed Letter Signed introducing himself to theatre historian W. Macqueen-Pope, with accompanying duplicated set of typed press notices, and carbon of MP’s reply.

Basil Ashmore [Basil Norton Ashmore] (1915-1998), British stage and music director; Michael Powell; Sir Michael Balcon; George Jessel; Amersham Repertory Players [Walter James Macqueen Pope]
Publication details: 
ONE: BA’s letter, 10 January 1956, 20 Parkfield Ave, Amersham, Bucks, on letterhead of Amersham Repertory Players. TWO: BA’s press notices, undated. THREE. Carbon of MP TL in reply, 12 January 1956.

From the Macqueen-Pope papers. See his entry in the Oxford DNB. The three items are in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The first has slight wear to one edge, the second and third are pinned together. ONE: BA to MP, 10 January 1956. 1p, 4to. Folded for postage. Begins: ‘I wonder if I may introduce myself by means of the enclosed press notices? I am also noted in Whos Who in the Theatre and have letters of personal recommendation from Sir Desmond MacCarthy, Sir Beverley Baxter, J. C.

[‘Christopher Marie St John’ [Christabel Gertrude Marshall], author and suffragist in menage à trois with Edith Craig and Clare Atwood.] Autograph Letter Signed (‘Christopher St. John.’), proposing an article to ‘Mr Walbrook’ of the Pall Mall Gazette

‘Christopher Marie St John’, assumed name of Christabel Gertrude Marshall (1871-1960), author and campaigner for women’s suffrage, who lived in a ménage à trois with Edith Craig and Clare Atwood
Publication details: 
27 December 1913; 31 Bedford Street, Strand [London].

The subject of the present letter is, as Marshall’s entry in the Oxford DNB explains, her ‘translation of a play by the first female dramatist, Hrotsvit. ‘Paphnutius’ was given a world première by Craig for the Pioneer Players in January 1914.’ The recipient, Henry Mackinnon Walbrook (1865-1941), was the drama critic of the Pall Mall Gazette. 2pp, 12mo. In fair condition, on dusty discoloured paper, with slight rust spotting from paperclip.

Letterbook of Arthur Poyser, Master of the Lord Mayor's Players and Singers, founder of the Lord Mayor's Own 1st City of London B.P. Scouts, containing letters from a number of notable individuas, drawings, programmes, cuttings and other ephemera.

Arthur Poyser, International Commissioner for Music, Master of the Lord Mayor's Players and Singers [the Boy Players], and founder in 1908 of the Lord Mayor's Own 1st City of London B.P. Scouts
Publication details: 
Dating from between 1904 and 1938.

Poyser was the author of the first 'Official Song-book of the Scout Movement', 'The Scout Song Book' (1912). He published a history of the Tower of London in 1908, 'when I was Master of the Music of the Collegiate Church of Allhallows Barking-by-the-Tower, City of London'. For more information, see The Times, 3 August 1964 ('Roll of Honour for Scouts'). 125 items, including letters, programmes, drawings, postcards, invitations, newspaper and magazine cuttings, relating to the Boy Players and 1st City of London Scout Troop.

[Herbert Whittaker, Canadian theatre critic, designer and director.] Eight long Signed Letters (six typed and two in autograph) to English playwright Christopher Fry, on theatre matters including a reading at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club.

Herbert Whittaker (1910-2006), Canadian theatre critic, designer and director [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright; Canadian Players; Hart House Theatre; Crest Theatre; Montreal Repertory Theatre]
Publication details: 
From his address in Lamport Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; between 11 July 1998 and 7 April 2002.

An interesting correspondence on theatre matters, from one of Canada's most influential critics and designers to 'a favourite poet', the English verse dramatist Christopher Fry. Whittaker discusses, among other matters, mutual acquaintances including Sir John Gielgud and Leonard White, past productions of Fry's plays, a 1998 meeting with the playwright at his West Dean home, and a reading he organises of Fry's 'A Ringing of Bells' at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club. The eight letters are in good condition, lightly aged.

[ Charles Lefeaux, actor and producer. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Charles Lefeaux') and Autograph Note Signed ('C L'), to theatre bookseller Barry Duncan, the second regarding the Repertory Players.

Charles Lefeaux [ Charles Treoning Lefeaux ] (1909-1979), English actor and producer, Vice-President of the Repertory Players, London
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 4 Turner Close, Meadway, NW1 [ London ]. 1 and 17 August 1948.

ONE: Note. 1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged. In envelope addressed to Duncan at 11 St Martin's Court, London. Reads simply: 'Please let me have your catalogue when its ready | C L'. Lefeaux's name in capitals at head. TWO: Letter. 1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. He asks him to 'put the enclosed leaflet about the Repertory Players' in his window as agreed, offering two tickets as a mark of the commitee's gratitude.

[ Maurice Willson Disher, theatre critic and author. ] Unpublished typescript of his play 'Plain Clothes [initially titled 'Nature is so Coarse']. Harlequinade in Four Acts and Plain Clothes by All the Worst Authors [originally 'M. Willson Disher'].'

M. Willson Disher [ Maurice Willson Disher ] (1893-1969), British theatre critic and author [ Leonard Sachs and Peter Ridgeway; Ridgeway's Late Joys; the Players Theatre, London ]
Publication details: 
'Please return to: | M. Willson Disher, | 24 Bradstock Road, Ewell, Surrey [originally 'Russell's Water, | Nr. Henley-on-Thames. | Oxon.' ]. Undated.

102pp., 4to. Typed on rectos only, and bound with pink string in grey card wraps with white paper label. Internally in good condition, on lightly-aged paper, in worn wraps. Extensive manuscript emendations throughout, and with a manuscript passage (1p., 4to) on leaf loosely inserted, for adding to p.21. The title-page of the play is revised, with the typed title 'Nature is so Coarse' replaced by the manuscript 'Plain Clothes', and the author's name 'M. Willson Disher' replaced by 'All the Worst Authors'.

Programme and songsheet by Arnold Riches for 'Ridgeway's Late Joys (formerly Evans' Song and Supper Rooms)', with Leonard Sachs as chairman, and featuring Peter Ustinov, Bernard Miles and 'Alec (Laneworthy-Figg) Clunes'.

Ridgeway's Late Joys (Formerly Evans' Song and Supper Rooms), Players Theatre [Peter Ridgeway (c.1894-1938); Leonard Sachs; Arnold Riches; Peter Ustinov; Bernard Miles; Alec Clunes]
Publication details: 
Song sheet: Player's Theatre, 42, King Street, Covent Garden; undated [pre 1940]. Programme: Player's Theatre ('Late of COVENT GARDEN'), 13, Albemarle Street, Piccadilly; 1 November 1943.

Both items printed on pink paper, with similar cover designs by Arnold Riches. Both in fair condition, aged and worn. The song sheet is a bifolium, 4pp, 4to, It dates from before 1939, when, following Ridgeway's death, the Player's Theatre moved to the Arts Theatre from King Street. The front page advertises performances 'Every Night (Except Sundays)', with 'THE ARTISTES' listed over twelve lines, and including 'Alec (Laneworthy-Figg) Clunes', Peter Ustinov, Bernard Miles and 'Leonard Sachs (Chairman)'.

Four Typed Letters Signed and two Autograph Letters Signed (all 'Rex Newman') from the screenwriter and author Greatrex Newman to Eva Lawrence ('Lawrie').

Greatrex Newman (1892-1984), English author and screenwriter [The Fol-de-Rols; theatrical; the London stage]
Greatrex Newman (1892-1984), English author and screenwriter, TLSs and ALSs
Publication details: 
Two undated; the rest between 1951 and 1959. On various letterheads of 39 and 47 Whitehall Court, London.
Greatrex Newman (1892-1984), English author and screenwriter, TLSs and ALSs

Five of the items are 8vo, with the other on a 12mo slip. All texts clear and complete. Fair, on slightly-aged and worn paper. A total of five typed 8vo pages, and two autograph 8vo and two autograph 12mo pages. Four of the lettters have 'The Fol-de-Rols' printed on the letterhead. Dealing with practical everyday theatre matters, with Newman writing, for example, on 19 November 1955: 'I have bought a few costume from the Punch Revue which died an early death at the Duke of York's theatre last Saturday.

Typed Note Signed "J. Buchan" to Arthur Poyser, City of London Boy Scouts (first ever Troop by some accounts, inspired by Baden Powell's 1907 experiment), re-founder of the City of London Boy Players.

John Buchan, novelist, later Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada
Publication details: 
[Headed Notepaper] Thomas Nelson and Sons Publishers, 5 November 1910

With printed pamphlet. Letter is one page, 12mo, tipped on to page extracted from personal album of Arthur Poyser, trimmed to fit a plastci envelope, with a small nick not affecting text, illustrating his career with the City of London Boy Scouts and the Boy Players (album offered separately). Buchan is only free for luncheon on the Wednesday but would be happy to discuss "the book" [the first "Scouts' Song Book" published in 1912) with him then.

Autograph letter signed to 'Mr. Gifford'.

Marie Lohr
Publication details: 
1 February 1928; on letterhead '8, DEVONPORT STREET, | HYDE PARK W.2.'

Anglo-Australian actress (1890-1975), connected with the Kendalls, Beerbohm-Tree, Bernard Shaw and a host of other figures from the London stage. Two pages, 12mo. Veryy good. Difficult hand. She has asked 'Mr. de Lion' about Gifford's play: 'he said he will try to make enquiries & let me know but I dont expect he will'. The rest appears to refer to relate to travel plans. Ends 'I beg you to forgive me.' Signed 'Marie Löhr'.

Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mrs. Ford'.

Olga Nethersole
Publication details: 
29 July 1898; on letterhead '5, NORFOLK STREET, | PARK LANE, W.'

English actress of Spanish descent (1866-1951). Two pages, 12mo. On grey paper. Folded twice. In very good condition, but with minor traces of paper mounts adhering to two corners of first leaf of bifoliate. Florid signature. She declines the luncheon invitation as she has friends coming down. She is 'going to try & have tea with Mrs Gooch. But it is a little difficult to get away when one has people staying.' She is sorry to have missed her correspondent.

Autograph Letter Signed to Lady Monckton.

Henry Kemble
Publication details: 
Sunday 11th June 1887'; on Garrick Club letterhead.

English comedian (1848-1907), grandson of the actor Charles Kemble. Two pages, 12mo. On grubby, spotted and stained paper. 'I was so sorry to have been prevented coming to you on Sunday last, and also that my absence from town has precluded the possibility of my leaving Cards. I hope I may be more fortunate another time.'

Autograph Note Signed to J. Winston.

Daniel Terry
Publication details: 
12 August 1825; 13 Alfred Place.

English actor and playwright (1780?-1829). 1 page, 16mo, on bifoliate with address ('J. Winston Esqr | 3 Church Street | Cov Garden') on reverse of second leaf. Paper discoloured, otherwise in good condition. 'Dear Winston | Will you be kind enough to give the bearer an order for Two to the H Mkt [Haymarket] for the Evening. I am Dr Sir | Yrs very truly | Danl Terry'. Wrapped in 4to piece of paper on which are transcribed in a neat contemporary hand two quotations regarding Terry from the European Magazine.

Autograph Signature.

Charles Albert Fecther
Publication details: 
Without date or place.

English actor and dramatist (1824-79; DNB). On slip of paper, 1½ inches by 4 inches, probably cut from letter. Discoloration to two corners caused by mounting. Paper creased and with almost imperceptible closed tear. Florid and attractive signature. Neatly docketed in pencil on reverse.

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