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THM/342 - Josie Rourke Collection
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Josie Rourke Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342
Dates of Creation 1999-2011
Name of Creator Josie Rourke
Language of Material English
Physical Description 16 boxes (121 folders)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of administration papers, research, production and rehearsal notes and scripts relating to theatrical projects on which Josie Rourke has worked as production director or assistant director. Productions cover a range of venues, both London and regional as well as touring shows.

Administrative / Biographical History

Josie Rourke grew up and attended school in Salford, where a love of the theatre developed through frequent visits to the local Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and trips to Stratford. Rourke went on to read English at Cambridge, and upon leaving in 2000 she moved to London and got a year's appointment as assistant director at the Donmar Theatre, working under the then artistic director Sam Mendes. Here she assisted such eminent directors as Michael Grandage, Nicholas Hytner and Phyllida Lloyd.

Upon leaving the Donmar, Rourke assisted director Peter Gill on Luther at the National Theatre. The York Realist, their second production working together went on tour with the English Touring Company and transferred to the Royal Court. The success of this production led to Rourke being offered the post of trainee associate director at the Royal Court.

After her stint at the Court, Rourke worked for a long period as a freelance director, building up a range of productions including The Life and Death of King John and Believe What You Will for the RSC, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, managing the UK tour of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic and a revival of David Mamet's Cryptogram at the Donmar starring Kim Cattrall.

In-between freelance work Rourke served as an associate director at Sheffield Theatres under Sam West from 2004 to 2006, where she helped programme his opening season and directed him in the first production of his tenure in charge, Much Ado About Nothing.

Rourke joined the Bush Theatre as artistic director in 2007 and during her productive five years there managed to secure a permanent home for the theatre in the former Shepherd's Bush Library building as well as directing a variety of productions including If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet and Like a Fishbone.

Recently Rourke made her National Theatre debut with Men Should Weep, and in the spring of 2011 made her West End debut with the hotly anticipated production of Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham's Theatre starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

In March 2011 it was announced that Rourke would take over from Michael Grandage as Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse, a post she will officially take over in 2012.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into the following series:

  • THM/342/1 - Production Files
  • THM/342/2 - Scripts
  • THM/342/3 - First-Night Cards
  • THM/342/4 - Unrelated or Unidentified Items

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre & Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Fridays 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 search room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Josie Rourke, 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Accruals

Further accruals to this collection are likely.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Josie Rourke can be found in several collections, including the biographical and productions files.

Please ask for details.

Personal Names

Rourke, Josie
Grandage, Michael. ( b.1962)
Mendes, Sam. ( b.1965)
Hytner, Nicholas. ( b.1956)
Lloyd, Phyllida. ( b.1957)
Gill, Peter. ( b.1939)
Ensler, Eve. ( b.1953)
Mamet, David. ( b.1947)
West, Sam. ( b.1966)
Tennant, David. ( b.1971)
Tate, Catherine. ( b.1968)

Geographical Names

Bush Theatre, London
Royal Court Theatre, London
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Donmar Warehouse, London
Young Vic Theatre, London
National Theatre, London
Riverside Studios, London
Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Junction Theatre, Cambridge
Trafalgar Studios, London
Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
People's Theatre Arts Centre, Newcastle
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago
Westminster Abbey, London
New Theatre, Cambridge
Powerhouse Theatre, New York
Palace Theatre, Watford

Genre/Form

Theatre directors

Cataloguing Info

Title Josie Rourke Collection
Creation Created by Veronica Castro using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2011-05-20
Revisions

Production Files

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342/1
Dates of Creation 1999-2011
Physical Description 60 folders

Scope and Content

Files contain information and documentation relevant to productions on which Josie Rourke worked. Typically, files contain some or all of the following:

  • Production and rehearsal notes
  • Textual research
  • Relevant correspondence
  • Schedules

Conditions Governing Access

Some of these files are partially closed under the Data Protection Act, 1998. The closures are specified at file level.

Appraisal Information

In some instances where extensive research materials were present within production files, some unreferneced and un-annotated photocopied research materials have been disposed of.

These instances have been noted at file level.

Documents referring to the casting process as well as actor CVs and detailed cast lists have been removed and disposed of due to the inclusion of sensitive personal data which is subject the Data Protection Act, 1998.


Dangerous Corner by JB Priestly, Palace Theatre Watford, 1999

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342/1/1
Dates of Creation 1999
Physical Description 3 folders

Scope and Content

Folders contain the following:

Correspondence:

  • Letter from Palace Theatre to Rourke regarding her biography entry for the Dangerous Corner programme, Sept 1999.
  • Welcome letter and new staff induction pack for Palace Theatre, Watford, Sept 1999.
  • Copy of letter regarding expenses, Dec 1999.
  • Copy of letter from Laurie Sansom (production director) to Alistair Moir (Palace's administrative director) regarding Rourke's status as Assistant Director, Dec 1999.

Other:

  • Dangerous Corner promotional flyer, 1999.
  • Set of 12 show reports, detailing the events of the performances for each evening, 1999.
  • Photocopy of an Evening Standard review of Dangerous Corner (original dated 10 November 1999).
  • Good-luck note and cards from Laurie Sansom, Jessica Curtis (production designer) and Chris Davey (lighting designer), 1999.

This production ran from 5-27 Nov, 1999.

Administrative / Biographical History

The earliest production in this collection, Rourke was the Assistant Director on this production of J.B. Priestley's Dangerous Corner.

Conditions Governing Access

Part of this file is closed under the Data Protection Act 1998 until 01/01/2080.

Personal Names

Priestly, J B. ( 1894 - 1984)

Geographical Names

Palace Theatre, Watford

Passion Play by Peter Nichols, Donmar Warehouse Theatre London, 2000

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342/1/2
Dates of Creation 2000
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

Folders contain the following:

Correspondence:

  • Request for Rourke's written biography for the Passion Play programme, March 2000.
  • Emails in English and French regarding permission to use images as set decoration in one scene, all dated Mar 2000.
  • Email from Rourke regarding refinements to be made to the audio clips and sound effects used within the production, dated April 2000.
  • Email from Grandage to Rourke regarding the transfer of Passion Play to the West End, dated May 2000.
  • Email from Rourke to Michael Grandage ( Passion Play director) regarding actors being assigned additional roles to cover, dated June 2000.
  • Email from Grandage to Rourke regarding production length and timing, dated Jul 2000.
  • Email from Rourke to Michael Grandage with rehearsal notes, undated.
  • Email from Caro Newling (executive producer) to Grandage regarding cover roles, undated.

Other:

  • Sound effects list, undated
  • Text and translation of Mozart's Requiem, 2000.
  • Handwritten rehearsal notes, undated.
  • Production schedule, typed, dated 2000
  • Copy of Donmar magazine (Issue 4, Spring 2000) featuring interview with Michael Grandage about Passion Play.

This production ran from 18 Apr-10 Jun 2000.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rourke was Trainee Associate Director at the London's Donmar Warehouse for this 2000/1 season, working under the then Artistic Director Sam Mendes. During this season she directed Passion Play, which was written by the English stage, television and film writer Peter Nichols in 1981.

Conditions Governing Access

Part of this file is closed under the Data Protection Act 1998 until 01/01/2081.

Personal Names

Mendes, Sam. ( b.1965)
Nichols, Peter. ( b.1927)
Grandage, Michael. ( b.1962)

Geographical Names

Donmar Warehouse, London

Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams, Donmar Warehouse Theatre London, 2000

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342/1/3
Dates of Creation 2000
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Folder contains the following:

  • Production related research; classical, contextual and Tennessee Williams-related, undated.
  • Performance guide to Southern accents, undated.
  • Rehearsal notes, annotated, undated.
  • Production schedule, typed, dated 2000.
  • Production flyer, dated 2000.

This production ran from 27 Jun-19 Aug 2000.

Administrative / Biographical History

Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams was directed by Rourke in 2000, whilst she was trainee associate director at the London's Donmar Warehouse for the 2000/1 season.

Personal Names

Mendes, Sam. ( b.1965)
Williams, Thomas Lanier (Tennessee). ( 1911 - 1983)

Geographical Names

Donmar Warehouse, London

To The Green Fields and Beyond by Nick Whitby, Donmar Warehouse Theatre London, 2000

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/342/1/4
Dates of Creation 2000
Physical Description 3 folders

Scope and Content

Folders contain the following:

Correspondence:

  • Email and accompanying information booklet from Taff Gillingham (British military history consultant) to Sam Mendes, dated June 2000.
  • Fax from Rourke to an employee of the Science Museum, inviting them to a rehearsal, dated 17 Aug, 2000.
  • Fax from the Belgian Embassy to Rourke containing Flemish translations of an excerpt of text, dated Aug 2000.
  • Memo from Sarah Hunt (Marketing Director) to Rourke regarding picture research at the Imperial War Museum, dated Aug 2000.
  • Memo from Hunt to staff regarding the production of the programme, dated Aug 2000.
  • Memo from Hunt to staff regarding an 'Audio-Described' performance for the visually-impaired, dated Sept 2000.
  • Letter thanking Rourke for a talk given at a boys school, dated Oct 2000.
  • Email from Rourke to Mendes containing a show report, dated 3 Nov 2000.
  • Email from Rourke to Sam Mendes with an excerpt from the play-text, undated.

Other:

  • 7x ticket stubs, dated 2000.
  • Minutes from a production meeting, dated Aug 2000.
  • Production schedule, dated Sept 2000.
  • Production diary, dated Jul-Sept 2000.
  • Rehearsal notes; some annotated and with notes and action diagrams, all dated Aug and Sept 2000.
  • Interview transcript; between Sam Mendes (director), Nick Whitby (author) and Rourke, undated.
  • Notebook; rehearsal notes and diary, undated.
  • First dress rehearsal notes; annotated, undated.
  • Research; contextual, First World War, slang glossary, info regarding trips to the Imperial War Museum, Chelsea Barracks and Tank Museum, battlefield maps, reading lists etc.

This production ran from 25 Sept-25 Nov 2000.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rourke was Trainee Associate Director at the London's Donmar Warehouse for this 2000/1 season, working under the then Artistic Director Sam Mendes.

This play was written Nick Whitby.

Conditions Governing Access

Part of this file is closed under the Data Protection Act 1998 until 01/01/2081.

Appraisal Information

Some uncredited and un-annotated photocopied research materials have been disposed of.

Personal Names

Sarah, Hunt
Mendes, Sam. ( b.1965)
Whitby, Nick

Geographical Names

Donmar Warehouse, London