THEATRICAL

[Oscar Hammerstein, American lyricist and librettist associated with Richard Rodgers.] Typed Note Signed ('Oscar') to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, regarding the opening of the London production of 'The King and I'.

Author: 
Oscar Hammerstein [Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II] (1895-1960), American lyricist, librettist, associated with composer Richard Rodgers [W. J. Macqueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
12 October 1953. On London letterhead of 'The King and I', Williamson Music Limited, 14 St George St, W.1.
£220.00

1p, 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged. Folded once. The printing of the letterhead, in red and black, extends along three edges, with decorations including an oriental-style architectural motif in front of a tree at bottom right. At the head of the page the letterhead reads 'Williamson presents The King and I as originally produced by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein 2nd.' The four directors of Williamson Music Limited are named at the foot, including Rodgers, Hammerstein and 'Louis Dreyfus (British formerly American)'. The note, addressed to 'Mr.

[Dame Anna Neagle [Dame Florence Marjorie Wilcox], star of stage and screen.] Typed Note Signed ('Anna') to 'Popey' [theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope], regarding the first night [of 'The Glorious Days'].

Author: 
Dame Anna Neagle [Dame Florence Marjorie Wilcox] (1904-1986), star of stage and screen [W. J. MacQueen-Pope [Walter James MacQueen-Pope] (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
On her letterhead, from 128 Mount Street, London, W.1. 6 March 1953.
£35.00

1p, 8vo. In good condition, on lightly aged paper. Folded once. Salutation ('My dear Popey -') and valediction ('My love to you both - | Anna.') in her autograph; the rest typed. Good bold signature. Reads: 'It was so very kind of you to think of me on Saturday.

[Sir Edward Seymour Hicks, actor-manager, to theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope.] Autograph Letter Signed and Airgraph letter, both long and gossipy, expressing dissatisfaction with South Africa. With copy of letter to Hicks from MacQueen-Pope.

Author: 
Seymour Hicks [Sir Edward Seymour Hicks] (1871-1949), actor-manager who built the Aldwych and Hicks theatres in London [W. J. MacQueen-Pope [Walter James MacQueen-Pope] (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
ALS: undated, but with Capetown postmark of 6 July 1942. Airgraph: 25 November 1942. Both letters c/o Barclays Bank, Cape Town, South Africa. MacQueen-Pope's copy letter: 23 September 1942; Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, WC2 [London].
£120.00

The three items in good condition, lightly aged. An entertaining and characteristic exchange, with MacQueen-Pope's letter (Item Three) dating from between Hicks's two. ONE: ALS from 'Seymour H.' to 'My dear old Poppie'. Undated, with envelope with Capetown postmark dated 6 July 1942, addressed to 'McQueen Pope Ere. | Drury Lane Theatre | Drury Lane | London | W. C. 1 | From Sir Seymour Hicks'. 2pp, 8vo. 79 lines of closely-written text, headed 'Private & Confidential'.

[ Alan Bennett, English playwright. ] Unpublished typescript of screenplay of unmade comedy film titled 'The Vicar's Wife'.

Author: 
Alan Bennett (b.1934), English playwright, actor and author [ Ned Sherrin (1931-2007), English theatrical producer, director and author ]
Publication details: 
Ned Sherrin, 3 Bywater Street, London, S.W.3. 10 October 1967. [ Printed by Franell Enterprrises, 54 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush Green, London, W12. ]
£450.00

[1] + 115 + [1]pp., 8vo. Printed on rectos only. Bound by two metal studs in yellow card covers. In fair condition, with moderate signs of age and wear. Apparent ownership inscription ('Vickers Staniforth') at head of title page, beside a number '3' in red ink. Never produced and unpublished. 'The Vicar's Wife' was Bennett's first film script, and was written for Ned Sherrin, who was working at the time for Columbia Pictures. According to Kara McKechnie ('Alan Bennett', MUP, 2007), it 'pre-dates his first stage play by a few years, and is simultaneous with 'On the Margin' for television'.

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to book-collector and bon-vivant Thomas Hill, playfully explaining that he has no portrait to offer ('I am now pluming my Crest for the first Painter that comes across me').

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Hill (1760-1840), book-collector and bon-vivant]
Publication details: 
9 Southampton Buildings [London]. 15 December 1806.
£220.00

For information on Kenney and the recipient Thomas Hill, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 4to. Bifiolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Thos. Hill Esqr | Queen Hith' [i.e. Queenhithe, London]. Hill had presumably requested a representation of Kenney, and the tone of the letter is that of one man of the world addressing another, accurately caught by a dramatist: 'Dear Sir, | I have just received your note of the 10th.

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to 'Loo Loo' ('Mademoiselle Holcroft'), i.e. wife Louisa, discussing their home situation, education of children, theatrical affairs, personal news.

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809), author and radical]
Publication details: 
Versailles. 15 June 1822.
£350.00

3pp, 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with Versailles postmark, on reverse of second leaf, 'A Mademoiselle Holcroft | Chateau de Pinon | près | Chavignon | Dep. de l'Aisne'. The background to the letter requires some explanation. In 1812 a prosperous Kenney had married Louisa Mercier (c.1780-1853), daughter of the French dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), and fourth wife and widow of the playwright Thomas Holcroft, a leading radical who had assisted his friend Thomas Paine publish 'The Rights of Man'.

[Sybil Thorndike, celebrated actress for whom Bernard Shaw wrote 'Saint Joan'.] Autograph Letter Signed to Secretary, Royal Literary Fund, explaining that 'pressure of work' will prevent her from acting as steward at Guildhall anniversary banquet.

Author: 
Sybil Thorndike [Dame Agnes Sybil Thorndike] (1882-1976), celebrated actress for whom Bernard Shaw wrote 'Saint Joan', noted for her Shakespearian roles
Publication details: 
23 June 1921. 'Little Theatre | Adelphi | W.C. [London]'
£35.00

1p, 8vo. Fifteen lines of text, in green ink. In fair condition, lightly aged, folded twice, with short closed tear to edge of one crease. Signed 'Sybil Thorndike'. Although 'deeply gratified', her 'present duties' will detain her 'at the Theatre every evening until 11 o/c', so that she will not be able to 'act as a Steward at the Anniversary of the Royal Literary Fund at the Guildhall, next Wednesday'.

[Lyn Harding, Welsh stage and screen actor.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Lyn') to 'Popie' [theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope], complaining of a coach party of '50 arrived from Scotland', who have 'robbed God of several hours of daylight'.

Author: 
Lyn Harding [David Llewellyn Harding] (1867-1952), Welsh stage and screen actor [W. J. Macqueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
34 Valkyrie Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. 'after April 14th. [1951]'
£40.00

2pp, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with crease lines from having been folded into a packet. The letter is from a batch of letters written following Ivor Novello's death in 1951, in Macqueen-Pope's personal papers. He writes to send his new address ('after April 14th.'), having been forced after eight weeks to move from the Holmwood Hotel, 'to seek a little relaxation at a guest house where there will be less noise and Jubilation'.

[Ivor Novello, composer, playwright and actor.] Autograph Signature on front cover of the 'Magazine Programme' of his comedy 'I Lived With You'.

Author: 
Ivor Novello [born David Ivor Davies] (1893-1951), Welsh composer, playwright and actor [W. J. Macqueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
The Magazine Programme [London: Prince of Wales' Theatre], No. 893. 4 April 1932.
£45.00

[24]pp, 12mo. Stapled programme, in shiny covers. Strip torn away from back cover, and with staples slightly rusted, otherwise in fair condition. Large signature 'Ivor Novello' diagonally across title on front cover: 'Richard D. Rose | presents | Ivor Novello | in | I Lived With You | A comedy in three acts | by | Ivor Novello'. An illustrated 'magazine' programme, containing articles and advertisements. No copy on OCLC WorldCat. From the papers of Novello's friend and biographer, the theatre historian W. J.

[Frank Benson [Sir Francis Robert Benson; F. R. Benson], actor-manager who specialised in Shakespeare productions.] Autograph Note in third person, stating that 'his departure for South Africa' prevents him from attending a Literary Society banquet.

Author: 
Frank Benson [Sir Francis Robert Benson; F. R. Benson] (1858-1939), actor-manager who specialised in Shakespeare productions [Royal Literary Society, London]
Publication details: 
4 July 1921. No place.
£35.00

1p, 4to. In fair condition, on lightly aged and creased paper, folded twice. Reads: 'Sir Frank Benson regrets that his departure for South Africa will prevent his having the pleasure of availing himself of the Literary Society's kind invitation to assist at the banquet, on Wednesday, July 16th. -'

[Mary Martin, Broadway star.] Two Typed Letters Signed (both 'Mary') to 'Popie', i.e. the English theatre historian MacQueen-Pope, discussing her family's plans and the projected production of 'South Pacific' at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Author: 
Mary Martin [Mary Virginia Martin[ (1913-1990), American actress, singer, and Broadway star associated with Rodgers and Hammerstein [W. J. MacQueen-Pope; Larry Hagman]
Publication details: 
One 28 May [1950], the other undated, but from 1951. Both on her letterhead.
£120.00

Each letter 1p, 8vo. Both in fair condition, lightly aged and creased. On signing one of the letters she has slightly smudged it. ONE: 28 May [1950]. She thanks him for his 'fascinating-looking book, THE MELODIES LINGER ON', and for his 'most generous inscription'. She and her husband 'Richard' (the drama critic Richard Halliday) have 'read bits and pieces and have looked at every photograph, and can't wait to really sit down and read the book from cover to cover!' She continues: 'And that will be soon.

[Braham Murray, in his Century Theatre Company's inaugural season at the University Theatre, Manchester.] Autograph Notes for his production of Eugene O'Neill's 'Long Day's Journey into Night'.

Author: 
Braham Murray [Braham Sydney Murray, born Braham Goldstein] (1943-2018), director, one of five founding Artistic Directors, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester [Eugene O'Neill]
Publication details: 
[1965. The Century Theatre at] the University Theatre, Manchester.
£450.00

An interesting artefact of what was to become the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. See Murray's Guardian obituary, 3 August 2018: 'Murray left Oxford in 1964 without sitting his finals but with a starry reputation.

[John Van Druten, playwright.] Typed Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, with personal reminiscence and touching 'many points' including British 'old theatre' in Hollywood, Dodie Smith, J. T. Grein, his theatre library.

Author: 
John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
5 October 1949. A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California.
£120.00

It is puzzling that Van Druten, one of the most successful British playwrights of the early 1930s, should not have an entry in the Oxford DNB. The present entertaining and informative letter is written from the A. J. C. Ranch in Coachella Valley, which Van Druten purchased with his then-lover Carter Lodge and the British actress Auriol Lee (it was named after the initals of their first names).

[Karl Gustav Vollmöller, German symbolist playwright.] Typescript of English text of 'The Version that was banned' of 'A Venetian Night. | A Pantomime in 13 Tableux, by Carl Vollmoeller', with variants required by the Lord Chamberlain's office.

Author: 
'Carl Vollmoeller' [Karl Gustav Vollmöller] (1878-1948), German playwright and polymath, screenwriter of Marlene Dietrich's 1930 film 'The Blue Angel' [Lord Chamberlain's office; W. J. MacQueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
[London. 1912.]
£220.00

A nice artefact of the censorship of pre-First World War British theatre. The London production of Vollmoeller's wordless drama 'Eine Venezianische Nacht' was censored by the Lord Chamberlain's office, and the production at the Palace Theatre, London, in November 1912 was panned by the critics. 15pp, folio, on fifteen leaves gathered together with green ribbon, interleaved with six typed slips of variant text, and with one leaf a composite made up of several sections glued together. Mimeographed typescript. In fair condition, on aged, worn and creased paper, with final leaf detached.

[Braham Sydney Murray, theatre director: his first-ever production, for the Oxford University Dramatic Society.] Typescript of Brendan Behan's 'The Hostage', with extra pages covered with autograph directorial notes and stage directions.

Author: 
Braham Sydney Murray [born Braham Goldstein] (1943-2018), director, one of five founding Artistic Directors, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester [Brendan Behan; Oxford University Dramatic Society]
Publication details: 
[Oxford University Dramatic Society, 1961.]
£600.00

For the background see Murray's 2014 autobiography 'The Worst It Can Be Is A Disaster', where he describes the production as 'a big production with its quasi-musical form. In such a large cast some of the actors were rather basic but some were superb. Michael Elwyn brought the house down as Monsewer [...] Michael York was very touching as the innocent Cockney soldier and the brother owners were expertly played by Ian Davidson, who later became a successful comedy scriptwriter, and the beautiful Canadian Nancy Lane, who is now a distinguished professor at Cambridge.

[Christopher Fry annotates a book about his work, inscribed to him by the author.] Christopher Fry | By Glenda Leeming.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century English verse drama; Glenda Leeming
Publication details: 
Twayne Publishers, A Division of G. K. Hall & Co., Boston. 1990.
£450.00

xv + 179pp, 8vo. Good tight copy in brown cloth, in worn printed dustwrapper. Frontispiece portrait of Fry. Inscribed on front free endpaper: 'To Christopher Fry | from | Glenda Leeming | with love'. In her preface Leeming notes Fry's 'patience and tolerance, as well as his helpful explanations of his plays, his intentions, and their realization'. The volume contains pencil annotations between pp.43 and 73, mostly relating to 'The Lady's not for Burning'. All are marginal indications of passages with vertical lines, apart from two annotations suggesting a degree of impatience with the text.

[Christopher Fry makes autograph corrections to a book about him.] Christopher Fry and his Verse Drama. [Insribed to the subject by the author, and with a Typed Letter Signed ('S. n. Ray').]

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century English verse drama; Professor Sambhu Nath Roy, Principal of Raiganj University College
Publication details: 
Biswas Book Stall, 88, M. G. Road, Calcutta-9; Ghosh & Company, 12, Ramanath Majumder Street, Calcutta-9 [Calcutta, India]. 1996.
£200.00

[6] + viii + 266pp, 8vo. With four-page 'Select Bibliography' and three two-page lists of errata tipped-in at the rear. In plain brown cloth, with green printed dustwrapper glued-down (by publisher) onto the endpapers by the flaps. In good condition, lightly-aged, in lightly-worn dustrapper with closed tear at rear. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: 'To | Mr. Christopher Fry, | With best compliments | from the Author, | S. n. Ray | 7.4.98'. Fry makes around fifty autograph corrections to the text, giving a list of them over the rear endpapers.

[Robert Donat, film and stage actor.] Typed Letter Signed ('Robert.') to 'Popie', i.e. the theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope, regarding his article 'Children's Theatre | Sound'.

Author: 
Robert Donat [Friedrich Robert Donat] (1905-1958), English film and stage actor, whose films included 'The 39 Steps' and 'Goodbye Mr. Chips' [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
30 October 1946. On his letterhead, 23 Three Kings Yard, London, W1.
£45.00

1p, 8vo. On aged and worn paper, with spots of rust staining from paperclip. Folded twice. Addressed to MP at 359 Strand, WC2. Reads: 'Dear Popie, | Children's Theatre | Sound | This is just to acknowledge your rough draft of the article you suggest. I have not had time to look at it yet, but I will do so as soon as I possibly can. Meanwhile, perhaps your secretary will let my secretary know the latest date for returning it.' MP's reason for sending the article to Donat is not immediately apparent. Donat's papers are in the University of Manchester Special Collections.

[Sir Edward Marsh, Winston Churchill's friend and private secretary, classical scholar, patron of Georgian poetry.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Eddie Marsh') to W. J. MacQueen-Pope, praising his biography of his friend Ivor Novello. With copy of reply.

Author: 
Sir Edward Marsh [Sir Edward Howard Marsh] (1872-1953), civil servant, promoter of Georgian poetry, classical scholar, friend and secretary to Winston Churchill [W. J. MacQueen-Pope; Ivor Novello]
Publication details: 
Marsh's letter 19 November 1951; 86 Walton Street, SW3 [London]. Copy of MacQueen-Pope's reply: 21 November 1951; 359 Strand, WC2.
£150.00

ONE: Marsh to MP. 19 November 1951. 2pp, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with light rust spotting from paper clip. Folded twice. Pencil note by MP. Marsh begins his letter: 'My dear Popie. | Very many thanks indeed for the book. It came on Saturday, & I read nothing else till I finished it this morning. Very many congratulations too, your Achievement story is itself a big achievement, & everyone who loved Ivor will be grateful to you for it. You can imagine how many memories it revived in me, & how much it added to my Knowledge.

[Peter Opie, folklorist, with wife Iona Opie, of children's games and nursery rhymes.] Two Typed Letters Signed to W. J. MacQueen-Pope, on the music hall, John Dunn and 'Jump Jim Crow', the Great Macdermott and 'Jeremiah, blow the fire'.

Author: 
Peter Opie (1918-1982), folklorist who, with his wife Iona Opie (1923-2017), worked on children's games and literature, donating their collection to the Bodleian [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
Opie's two letters on letterhead of 'IONA OPIE | PETER OPIE', Rockbourne House, 100 High Street, Alton, Hampshire. 20 and 25 January 1951. With carbon copy of a reply from MacQueen-Pope, 23 January 1951.
£150.00

The three items (two letters from Peter Opie to MacQueen-Pope and carbon copy of his reply to the first of these) are in fair condition, on aged and lightly-creased paper, with a slight nick at the head of the first letter. Inspired by the recent publication of MP's 'The Melody Lingers On: The Story of Music Hall' (1950), Opie writes to MP via his publishers W. H. Allen & Co, and signs both letters 'Peter Opie.' MP writes to Opie at Rockbourne House. ONE: TLS from Opie to MP. 20 January 1951. 1p, 4to.

[Dodie Smith, children's writer, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalamatians'.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Dodie') to 'Popie' [the theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope], praising his writing, theatre work and latest book, discussing Vivien Leigh.

Author: 
Dodie Smith [Dorothy Gladys Smith] (1896-1990), children's writer and playwright, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' (1956) and 'I Capture the Castle' (1948) [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
5 March 1958. On letterhead of The Barretts, Finchingfield, Essex.
£150.00

2pp, 18mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased. Folded once. Written in a close, elegant hand. Written on receipt of a presentation copy of MacQueen-Pope's latest book, the letter begins: 'My dear Popie, | Thank you so very much for St James's, Theatre of Distinction. I think I am enjoying it even more than I usually enjoy your individual-theatre books, because the St James's meant so much to me. It was the first London theatre I ever went to - long before I could read or went to a school.

[Noel Streatfeild, children's writer and author.] Typed Letter Signed to W. J. MacQueen-Pope - 'the horse's mouth as regards theatre history' - with queries for her 'book on ballet' relating to theatres in the Haymarket.

Author: 
Noel Streatfeild [Mary Noel Streatfeild] (1895-1986), children's writer and author [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
24 January 1958. On letterhead of 51A Elizabeth Street, Eaton Square, SW1 [London].
£65.00

1p, 4to. In fair condition, on aged and creased paper. The letter begins: 'Dear Mr. MacQueen Pope, | Please forgive me for bothering you, but you are I know, the horse's mouth as regards theatre history.' She explains that she is 'in the throes of a book on ballet' for her publishers William Collins, and she asks him to help her with 'a problem in the section on early ballet in England'. The problem concerns 'the King's Theatre Haymarket' and 'the Italian Opera House'. She gives a facts and dates, asking 'was it all one and the same theatre?

[Christopher Fry, playwright, a leading exponent of verse drama.] Typescript of the text of his children's book 'The Boat that mooed'. Signed 'Christopher Fry'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), distinguished playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama
Publication details: 
No place or date. [Book published in New York by Macmillan in 1965.]
£200.00

9pp, 8vo. Complete carbon typescript. On nine leaves, stapled together. Title at head of first page: 'THE BOAT THAT MOOED.' Fry's signature in blue ink at top left of first page: 'Christopher Fry:'. Fry has cut down the story by deleting and removing a passage. The lower part of the leaf carrying the sixth page of the story has been cut away, and the original seventh page has been removed, hence the typescript pagination 1-6, 8-10 has been amended in manuscript to 1-9. A lighthearted faux-naive story, replete with symbolism. Begins: 'Tom Crunch lived on a boat. All round the boat was water.

[Christopher Fry, playwright.] Two items from his papers: an American first edition of his play 'A Yard of Sun', together with proof leaves of a later printing of the play, entirely reset.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama
Publication details: 
First edition: O.U.P. [Oxford University Press], New York. 1970. Proofs undated and without publishing details. [New York: Dramatists Play Service Inc. 1998?]
£450.00

The two items are from the playwright's own papers. FIRST EDITION: [8] + 113pp, 8vo. A good tight copy in lightly-aged brown cloth and price-clipped cream dustwrapper with attractive design by Edward Blakeney in brown and black on front cover, and slight chipping to bottom edge at back. Label with English price on back of dustwrapper. No autograph interpolations. PROOFS: 96pp, 8vo. Duplicated printed pages, each page on a separate leaf. Paginated 1-96.

[Christopher Fry: BBC Schools talk on 'A Sleep of Prisoners', with reading.] Copy of typescript of BBC Home Service (Schools) talk and reading headed 'Religion and Philosophy | 9. A Play for a Church | by | Christopher Fry'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama [BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation], Bush House, London]
Publication details: 
TRANSMISSION: BBC HOME SERVICE (SCHOOLS) [Bush House, London] | Monday 29th June 1953: 9.40 - 10.00 a.m.
£220.00

Contemporary duplicated typescript, from the Christopher Fry papers. 14pp, 8vo. Each page on a separate leaf. In fair condition, lightly aged. Fry's introductory talk is present in its entirety on pp.1-5, this is followed by an unpaginated page, then pp.8-15 with p.[10] also unpaginated. Hence p.6 or p.7, beginning the extracts from the play, would appear to be absent. On the front page, between the heading and transmission details is: 'Rehearsal: Thursday 4th June 1953: 10.00 onwards | Recording: Thursday 4th June 1953: 12.15 - 1.00 p.m. 3A | Recording of Insert: [BLANK]'.

[Denis Johnston's play on Jonathan Swift: 'new version' by his son Rory Johnston.] Typescript of 'The Dreaming Dust | by Denis Johnston | a new version | compiled and adapted by Rory Johnston'. With covering letter to Christopher Fry.

Author: 
Denis Johnston (1901-1984), Irish playwright, author and actor; his son Rory Johnston [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama; Jonathan Swift]
Publication details: 
Typescript play sent by Rory Johnston, 49 Upper Park Road, London NW3. Dated 31 December 1987. 'Copyright 1959, 1977 by Denis Johnston'. Rory Johnston's letter to Fry: 3 May 1988, from same address.
£400.00

A multi-talented figure, Denis Johnston was a protégé of W. B. Yeats and Bernard Shaw, and had a stormy friendship with Seán O'Casey. Jonathan Swift was a preoccupation of Johnston's (see his 1959 book 'In Search of Swift'), and his play about him, 'The Dreaming Dust', was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in 1940. It was published in collections of Johnston's plays in 1954, 1960, 1977 and 1983. This 1988 version remains unpublished. Both typescript and letter in fair condition, lightly aged.

[Laurence Olivier [Lord Olivier], distinguished English stage and screen actor.] Typed Letter Signed ('L Olivier') to Godfrey Cawte, stating that he no longer feels 'quite game' for a film of Macbeth.

Author: 
Laurence Olivier [Laurence Kerr Olivier, Lord Olivier] (1907-1989), distinguished English stage and screen actor
Publication details: 
30 August 1966. On his letterhead, from the Old Vic Theatre, London.
£80.00

1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Mounted and placed in a tasteful black and gilt glazed picture frame. He thanks him for a 'most encouraging letter', and for taking the trouble 'to write to me so kindly, and to write to the Telegraph'. He adds that he is 'most grateful', underlining the word 'most'. As for Cawte's 'wish for a film of MACBETH', Olivier is 'sorry to be disappointing about this but I am very much afraid that it is a thing I do not feel quite game for any more'. He concludes with renewed thanks and the comment: 'I can't tell you how much your letter cheered me.'

[William Leman Rede, playwright.] Original holograph unpublished jeux d'esprit, addressed to and concerning Mrs Keeley. Signed 'Leman Rede/'.

Author: 
William Leman Rede (1802-1847), playwright who wrote farces and melodramas for the Olympic, Strand and Adelphi theatres in London [Mrs. Keeley]
Publication details: 
Signed and dated 'Leman Rede/ | 31. May 1841'.
£45.00

1p, 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Thin strip of paper from mount adhering to edge on blank reverse. Folded three times. Signed and dated at foot: 'Leman Rede/ | 31. May 1841'. Addressed at bottom left: 'To | Mrs.

[John Cumberland, London theatrical publisher.] Autograph Letter Signed ('J Cumberland') to Charles Thompson, declining to take on his unpublished play, and discussing the question of copyright.

Author: 
John Cumberland (1787-1866), London theatrical publisher [Charles Thompson; Cumberland's British Theatre]
Publication details: 
27 October 1834. 'No. 2 Cumberland Terrace | Camden New Town' [London].
£180.00

1p, 8vo. Aged and worn. Four folds. Panel from envelope attached to reverse, with postmark and address to 'Chas. Thompson Esqr. | 34 Bedford Street | Covent Gard.' He has 'already so many unpublished Plays' in which he has 'the right of Representation', that he must 'decline making any further purchases at present'. But even if he were 'inclined to make further purchases, it would most certainly be in Copyright and not in rights to print - which I suppose is what you mean by the term Printing Copyright'. He is however still 'much obliged to you for the offer'.

[Frederick Yates, actor-manager of the Adelphi Theatre.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Fred. H. Yates.'), accusing actor Thomas Cooke of breaking his word by mounting a production of Fitzball's 'Red Rover', whose copyright he owns, outside Edinburgh.

Author: 
Frederick Yates [Frederick Henry Yates] (1797-1842), actor and proprietor with Charles Mathews of the Adelphi Theatre, London, husband of Elizabeth Brunton [Thomas Potter Cooke (1786-1864), actor]
Publication details: 
18 January 1830. 'Theatre Royal | Adelphi' [London].
£120.00

3pp, 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, aged and worn, with closed tears and thin vertical strip of paper on reverse of second leaf, which carries a seal in black wax and Yates's address to 'T. P. Cooke Esqre. | 28 Manchester Street | Manchester Square'. An interesting letter regarding a Victorian stage dispute. In an understated style, Yates makes a serious accusation: Cooke has broken his word over the manuscript of Fitzball's play 'The Red Rover' (Yates had produced the piece with himself in the title role in 1828, and would do so again in 1831).

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