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Peter Noble Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393
Dates of Creation 1943-1951
Name of Creator Peter Noble
Language of Material English
Physical Description 3 boxes (16 scrapbooks)

Scope and Content

The collection of scrapbooks predominantly contain cuttings from London and regional newspapers and periodicals of his writings and theatrical and record reviews. Also covered are reviews for two major published books; Ivor Novello: Man of the Theatre, 1951 and British Theatre, 1945 and information and reviews for two stage-plays he performed in during 1944 at London's Chanticleer Theatre.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1917 in Clerkenwell, Peter Noble grew up at the Farningham Home for Boys after the death of his father during WWI. As a young man he joined the Unity Theatre Company, and his first theatrical roles were in Babes in the Wood and Waiting for Lefty. On the outbreak of WW2, Noble volunteered as a stretcher bearer, but was invalided out and returned to the stage appearing in Lady Julie. A number of minor film roles followed, including Escape Dangerous, where he met the actress Marianne Stone who would later become his second wife of 50 years, and with which he had two children (one of which, Kara Noble, is now a radio presenter).

During the 1940s and 1950s he began his real career as a theatrical and film writer and critic, writing for many national newspapers and periodicals as well as publishing a variety of film and theatre books himself, broadcasting on BBC radio (he was a menmber of the BBC drama repertory), and appearing as a regular panelist on the television game show Find the Link. He wrote the first serious book on black cinema, The Negro in Films (1947) and was the Director of the London Negro Repertory Theatre. At one point his writing became so prolific that he adopted the pseudonym Raymond Leader to avoid his own name appearing too frequently in the press. His final job was editing the glossy weekly Screen International, for which he wrote his final column on 11 September, 1992.

Noble died in London on 17 August 1997.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre & Perfomance's reading room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The reading room is open Tuesday to Friday's 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.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Peter Noble's daughter.

Accruals

No accruals expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Peter Noble may be found in several collections, including the library collection and the biographical, productions, and photographs files.

Please ask for details.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

Cataloguing Info

Title Peter Noble Collection
Creation Created by Veronica Castro using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2011-03-03

Ivor Novello Biography Scrapbooks

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/1
Dates of Creation 1950-1951
Name of Creator Peter Noble
Physical Description 4 scrapbooks

Scope and Content

Series of scrapbooks containing publishing announcements, reviews and articles on Noble's biography of Ivor Novello, Ivor Novello: Man of the Theatre, published by Falcon Press in 1951. Cuttings taken from London and regional newspapers and periodicals.


Ivor Novello Biography Scrapbook 1

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/1/1
Dates of Creation 1950-1951
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook labelled Ivor Novello and features reviews and articles of Noble's Novello biography. Cuttings are from London and National newspapers and periodicals. Also contains an Ivor Novello obituary written by Noble.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Novello, Ivor

Ivor Novello Biography Scrapbook 2

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/1/2
Dates of Creation 1951
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook features reviews of and articles of Noble's Novello biography. Cuttings are from London and National newspapers and periodicals. Also includes some loose cuttings.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Novello, Ivor

Ivor Novello Biography Scrapbook 3

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/1/3
Dates of Creation 1951
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook features reviews of and articles of Noble's Novello biography. Cuttings are from London and National newspapers and periodicals. Also includes some loose cuttings and a copy of the Foyles Bookshop Magazine.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Novello, Ivor

Ivor Novello Biography Scrapbook 4

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/1/4
Dates of Creation 1951
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook features cuttings from tthree newspapers which serialised Noble's Novello biography, two South African newspapers; the Cape Argus and the Sunday Mail and a London newspaper, Home News (these cuttings are loose). Also features the last photo of Ivor Novello taken 5 days before his sudden death. The photo shows Novello with Noble.

Personal Names

Novello, Ivor
Noble, Peter

Chanticleer Theatre Production Scrapbooks

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/2
Dates of Creation 1944
Physical Description 2 scrapbooks

Scope and Content

Set of scrapbooks each containing reviews, photographs and programme material for two productions at London's Chanticleer Theatre: He Must Return and Lady Julie, both of which featuring Peter Noble in an acting role. Cuttings taken from London and regional newspapers and periodicals.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

He Must Return Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/2/1
Dates of Creation 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook labelled "Summer 1944, The Chanticleer Theatre, He Must Return". As well as reviews and a programme, the scrapbook features the following photographs:

  • 2 onstage, during rehearsal
  • 3 of Noble with James Agate (leading British theatre critic)
  • 3 "unposed" of Noble at a typewriter
  • 6 production images

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Agate, James

Lady Julie Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/2/2
Dates of Creation 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook labelled "June 28th - July 9th, Lady Julie by Strindberg". As well as reviews and a programme, the scrapbook features 5 production photographs.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Strindberg, August

Reviews and Articles Scrapbooks

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3
Dates of Creation 1943-1947
Name of Creator Peter Noble
Physical Description 10 scrapbooks

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks predominantly contain articles and theatrical reviews written by Nobel, taken from London and regional newspapers and periodicals, as well as photographs and correspondence. Some feature record and music reviews written by Nobel under the pseudonym "Raymond Leader".

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 1

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/1
Dates of Creation Oct-Dec 1943
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as a photograph of Noble with Michael Redgrave and James Agate. Articles include a profile of Sally Gray (ballerina) and a long article entitled Actors Plan their Post-War Future.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Agate, James
Redgrave, Michael
Gray, Sally

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 2

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/2
Dates of Creation 1942-Feb 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel, musician profiles and the following photographs:

  • Trumpeteer Johnnie Claes
  • Clarinestist Harry Parry, autographed
  • Noble with James Agate

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Agate , James
Parry, Harry
Claes, Johnnie

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 3

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/3
Dates of Creation Mar-May 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as an autographed photograph of stage and screen actor David Laing and a pencil drawing self-portrait of author Oswald Frederick Shelling.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Laing, David

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 4

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/4
Dates of Creation Jul-Oct 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as advertisements for radio shows featuring Noble.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 5

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/5
Dates of Creation Oct-Dec 1944
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as 5 publicity portraits of Noble, and advertisements for several BBC Home Service radio plays he featured in.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 6

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/6
Dates of Creation Jan-Apr 1945
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as Noble's page from industry casting directory The Spotlight.

Personal Names

Noble, Peter

Reviews and Articles Scrapbook 7

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/393/3/7
Dates of Creation Jun-Jul 1945
Physical Description 1 scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook contains articles and reviews written by Nobel as well as 4 photographs of Noble posing for his bust with sculptor Tadaeus Koper. Articles include profiles of Sally Gray (ballerina) and Eric Portman (stage and screen actor).

Personal Names

Noble, Peter
Gray, Sally
Portman, Eric
Koper, Tadaeus