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THM/26 - Black Mime Theatre Company Records
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Black Mime Theatre Company Records

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26
Dates of Creation 1984-1997
Name of Creator Black Mime Theatre
Language of Material English
Physical Description 119 files

Scope and Content

This collection consists of papers relating to productions, tours and projects undertaken by Black Mime Theatre. The tour and production files series makes up the majority of the collection, and the bulk of the collection dates from 1992-1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

Black Mime Theatre was founded in 1987 by David Boxer and Sarah Cahn to encourage the emergence of black performers in mime. The company toured with summer and autumn productions each year.

By 1991 they had grown from a small company touring schools in Greater London to a national touring theatre. The company also provided workshops and workshop residencies for young people on themes from the productions.

Founded as an all-male troupe, the company expanded in 1990 by forming the Black Mime Women's Troupe, and also initiated the Black Women's Theatre Project. In 1992 the company founded the Ensemble by merging the Men's and Women's Troupes under the direction of Denise Wong with Arts Council franchise funding.

In 1994 an Annual School for young people was established, consisting of several weeks of training workshops, culminating in an outdoor performance. International tours included Sierra Leone and the Limberg festival in Holland.

Projects were funded by the Arts Council, the London Arts Board, the London Boroughs Grants Scheme, and the company received support from numerous Regional Arts Boards for tours. Black Mime Theatre was headed by a Board of Directors, to whom the Artistic Director and General Manager were accountable. An Office Manager was accountable to the General Manager, and all actors were accountable to the Artistic Director. The company was limited by guarantee and was a registered charity. On 31 March 1998 the company was wound up following the withdrawal of funding.

Arrangement

These records have been arranged chronologically in the following sub-fonds:

  • THM/26/1 - Company Management records
  • THM/26/2 - Production Management records
  • THM/26/3 - Project Management and Funding records
  • THM/26/4 - Press and Marketing records
  • THM/26/5 - Photographs
  • THM/26/6 - Audio Visual Materials

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Black Mime Theatre, 1997

Custodial History

This material came to the V&A after the company closed in 1997.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also Theatre Museum Core Collections: material relating to Black Mime Theatre may be found in several collections, including Theatre Museum production files, company files, biographical files for related persons and photographs. Please ask for details.

Separated Material

All posters have been removed and one copy of each placed in the V&A Theatre Collections Poster Collection. Programmes and flyers have been removed and transferred to the V&A Theatre Collections Core Collections. All video cassettes have also been removed from the archive and placed in the V&A Theatre Collections Video Collection.

Bibliography

Alison Donnell. Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture London: Routledge, 2001.

Subjects

Theater - Great Britain - History - 20th century
Theater management
Black theater - Great Britain
Mime

Personal Names

Boxer, David. ( 1946-)
Cahn, Sarah

Cataloguing Info

Title Black Mime Theatre Company Records
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the Victoria & Albert Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Sam Crossley, Guy Baxter and Vaila Holbourn

Company Management records

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/1
Dates of Creation 1997
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

General Manager's correspondence and staff recruitment file.


General Manager's correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/1/1
Dates of Creation 1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/23. Felicia Nevin's "Programming" file, containing correspondence regarding workshops, venue research and questionnaire design, three year plan and response, and joint projects. Also a recommendation for the Drum Theatre.


Recruitment

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/1/2
Dates of Creation 1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/1. This file relates to the recruitment of an office manager in 1997 and also contains information relating to the Capital Arts Consultancy Company.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this file will be restricted until 1 Jan 2028.


Production Management records

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2
Dates of Creation 1987-1997
Physical Description 36 files

Scope and Content

This series contains information regarding the marketing, promotion, finances, tour bookings and tour correspondence for individual productions. Also general touring administration including overseas tours.


Heart production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/1
Dates of Creation 1991-1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/26. This file includes mailing lists and listings, mailout letters and invitations, correspondence with press agent and printers, press cuttings, and arrangements regarding the design and production of programmes, questionnaires, Christmas cards and adverts and a competition for tickets. This material is mainly from 1991 to 1993 but includes some correspondence regarding a new tour in 1997.


Heart production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/2
Dates of Creation 1992
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/52. Correspondence regarding hire of rehearsal studios, the press night, merchandise, and the performance contract etc.


EDR: Earliest Date of Release production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/3
Dates of Creation 1993-1994
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/24. This contains correspondence, notes and information relating to publishing and marketing arrangements, printing, prison visits, programme design and production, and adverts and brochure inserts. There is also correspondence with the press agent, and with the London venue.


EDR: Earliest Date of Release tour file - bookings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/4
Dates of Creation 1993
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/11. This contains correspondence and notes relating to possible venues for the tour of EDR: Earliest Date of Release.


EDR: Earliest Date of Release tour file - confirmed bookings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/5
Dates of Creation 1993-1994
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/6. Contains correspondence and information regarding confirmed bookings for the production of EDR: Earliest Date of Release.


EDR: Earliest Date of Release tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/6
Dates of Creation 1993-1994
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/21.This includes mainly correspondence with venues by date of performance: invoices, booking information forms, contracts etc. The file also contains schedules and correspondence regarding shooting a video.


Dirty Reality tour and production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/7
Dates of Creation 1994
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/4. This file contains information regarding the production and tour of Dirty Reality including press night and complimentary ticket correspondence, the contract with Nottingham Playhouse, grant applications, correspondence with the performance venues, publicity material and a press review.


Forgotten Heroes production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/8
Dates of Creation 1994-1995
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/7. This contains correspondence and information relating to the London venue, the tour campaign, the budget, the premiere of the production, and the design and proofs of the programme.


Forgotten Heroes tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/9
Dates of Creation 1994-1995
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/12. Mainly correspondence with venues, contracts and booking information forms; with some evaluation sheets completed by the venues and a tour schedule.


Forgotten Heroes tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/10
Dates of Creation 1994-1995
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/14. This consists mainly of correspondence with venues, notes, booking forms and contracts, arranged by venue in order of date of performance.


Dirty Reality II production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/11
Dates of Creation 1995-1996
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/2. Contains information relating to the production of Dirty Reality II including correspondence with the London venue, papers regarding the premier of the production, the programme design and proofs, budgets and contracts, print and merchandise arrangements, information for the Performing Rights Society, bookings, and marketing arrangements.


Dirty Reality II tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/12
Dates of Creation 1995-1996
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/17. The material in this file includes tour figures and schedules, blank questionnaires, correspondence with press agent, venue and booking correspondence and information, publicity arrangements, and enquiries for shows and workshops in 1996/7.


Dirty Reality II tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/13
Dates of Creation 1995-1996
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/3. This consists of contracts, correspondence, booking information forms etc, for each performance venue


Mourning Song production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/14
Dates of Creation 1995-1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/29. This includes correspondence, information and notes regarding meetings, research material, bookings, publicity, venues, schedules, print and design arrangements and copy, marketing, budgets, an education pack, rehearsal space hire, merchandise, venue evaluations and correspondence and contracts with tutors.


Mourning Song production file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/15
Dates of Creation 1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/30. This contains marketing information including sales figures, press reviews, ticket statistics, adverts and offers, as well as correspondence with the marketing agent and print arrangements. There is also correspondence with the London venue, some regarding complimentary tickets. Other material includes a production management review and correspondence, correspondence regarding the performing right society and songs performed in the show, general correspondence regarding Mourning Song and director, cast and crew contact lists


Mourning Song tour file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/16
Dates of Creation 1996-1997
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/25. This contains mainly correspondence with the performance venues including booking forms and contracts and some tour schedules.


Overseas Tours file

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/17
Dates of Creation 1994
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/5. This consists mainly of correspondence and notes regarding travel arrangements and schedules, by touring area.


Overseas Tours

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/18
Dates of Creation 1995-1997
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/18. This contains correspondence and information arranged by tour, including travel information, venue correspondence and evaluations, contracts and completed forms by ensemble, and publicity arrangements.


Overseas Tours

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/26/2/19
Dates of Creation 1995-1997
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Previous reference THM/26/31. This file deals with the tours to Sierra Leone. Material includes an Arts Council foreign touring form, publicity copy for Dirty Reality II and Forgotten Heroes, and correspondence with the British Council regarding touring proposals, budget, and contracts, and also some questionnaires. There is also correspondence and notes relating to insurance, travel information and arrangements, council funding, workshop proposals, reports and evaluations.