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Owen Hale Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401
Dates of Creation 1953-1992
Name of Creator Owen Hale
Language of Material English
Physical Description 3 boxes (18 files)

Scope and Content

These folders primarily contain materials relating to Hale's work at both Encore Magazine and The Establishment Club. They also contain materials relating to his work as Company Manager for Theatre Workshop during their European tour of Oh! What a Lovely War, his work on a London production of A Lily in Little India, his extensive research on the life of British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, his time at the Studio Theatre, Scarborough and various personal correspondence and ephemera items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Owen Hale, born in 1920 began his theatrical career after serving in the RAF during the Second World War. While in the Treasury department of Hampstead Borough Council he directed three plays for Nalgo (National and Local Government Officers Association) members, after which he left to work as both an actor and a stage manager at the Hampstead Repertory Theatre.

The early 1960s saw Owen become the stage manager for Peter Cook's comedy club The Establishment for four years, following which he worked as company manager for Theatre Workshop's 1964-1965 European tour of Oh! What a Lovely War.

From 1966 to 1975 Hale was publicity manager for a number of theatres in Nottingham, Leicester and Lancaster and at the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead from 1975 to 1985. He was also a director of the Studio Theatre, Scarborough and was a colleague of Stephen Joseph.

Encore Magazine was launched in 1957 with Hale as business manager and patron. He worked there until its closure in 1965 and was co-author of the subsequent Encore Reader.

In 1958 and 1960 Hale published playwright Harold Pinter's first two plays; The Birthday Party and The Caretaker respectively. Owen died in 1995.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into the following series:

  • THM/401/1 - Encore Magazine
  • THM/401/2 - The Establishment Club
  • THM/401/3 - Oh! What a Lovely War
  • THM/401/4 - A Lily in Little India
  • THM/401/5 - Studio Theatre, Scarborough
  • THM/401/6 - Kenneth Tynan research materials
  • THM/401/7 - Owen Hale personal materials
  • THM/401/8 - Audio 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

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

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The following oversize items are kept separately for conservation reasons:

  • Tour poster for Vienna, Austria, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Cologne, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Hamburg, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Munich, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Stuttgart, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Wiesbaden, Germany, Jan 1965
  • Three tour posters for Zurich, Switzerland, Jan 1965
  • A large-scale set design for A Lily in Little India which includes annotations for lighting design, and is signed and dated Dec 1965.

Appraisal Information

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

The following theatre programmes and fliers have been removed and added to core collections:

  • George Dillon, Comedy Theatre, 1958.
  • 2 x Oh! What a Lovely War, Theatre Workshop Tour, 1963.
  • So Much to Remember, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1963.
  • You're Joking? A Show For Oxfam, Royal Albert Hall, London, date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs Maggie Vaughan-Lewis, 1996 and 2011.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Encore Magazine as well as the Oh! What a Lovely War and A Lily in Little India may be found in the library collections and the production files.

Please ask for details.

Subjects

Theater Management -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century
Periodicals -- Management

Personal Names

Hale, Owen
Hall, Peter
Schaffer, Peter
Davis, Carl
West, Timothy
Gaskill, William
Brook, Peter
Artaud, Antonin
Marowitz, Charles
Tynan, Kenneth. ( 1927-1980)
Tynan, Kathleen. ( 1937-1995)
Pinter, Harold. ( 1930-2008)
Esslin, Martin
Brecht, Bertolt. ( 1898-1956)

Geographical Names

The Establishment Club, London
Studio Theatre, Yorkshire
Hampstead Rep Theatre, London
Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead

Cataloguing Info

Title Owen Hale Collection
Creation Created by Veronica Castro using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2011-10-26

Encore Magazine

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/1
Dates of Creation 1957-1978
Physical Description 4 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain materials relating to the running and eventual demise of Encore Magazine, covering the years it ran as a publication: 1957-1965.


Correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/1/1
Dates of Creation 1957-1965
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains letters and telegrams written to Owen Hall, Clive Goodwin and Tom Milne, which cover the period between 1957 and 1965. Letters are both typed and handwritten, all are signed by the authors and many are dated. Authors include Lindsay Anderson, John Arden, John Berger, Robert Bolt, George Devine, Tyrone Guthrie, Peter Hall, Harold Hobson, Vivien Leigh, Benn W. Levy, John Osborne, J.B. Priestly, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Feliks Topolski, Kenneth Tynan, Sam Wanamaker, Arnold Wesker and John Whiting.

Personal Names

Hale, Owen
Goodwin, Clive
Milne, Tom
Anderson, Lindsay
Arden, John
Berger, John
Bolt, Robert
Devine, George
Hall, Peter
Hobson, Harold
Osborne, John
Richardson, Ralph
Whiting, John
Guthrie, Tyrone. Sir ( 1900-1971)
Tynan, Kenneth. ( 1927-1980)
Topolski, Feliks. ( 1907-1989)
Redgrave , Michael. Sir
Leigh, Vivien. ( 1913-1967)
Levy, Benn W. (Benn Wolfe). ( 1900-1973)
Priestley, John Boynton. ( 1894-1984)
Wanamaker, Sam. ( 1919-1993)
Wesker, Arnold. ( 1932-)

Encore Publishing Co. Ltd: Liquidation and accounts materials

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/1/2
Dates of Creation 1978
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain materials relating to the liquidation of the Encore Publishing Co. Ltd. Materials include an accounts ledger, receipts, cheque-books and correspondence: all materials date from 1978.


Petition and general materials

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/1/3
Dates of Creation 1954-1965
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains the follwing:

  • Copy of Encore (the magazine of the Student's Association, Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art), edited by Clive Goodwin: dated Winter 1954.
  • Petition letter written by Kenneth Tynan concerning the future of Encore magazine, with supporting letters attached: all letters signed and dated 1958.
  • Selection of cuttings of letters and articles from national publications concerning or written by the staff of Encore magazine: all undated.
  • Encore appendix page featuring the production costs of an average modern play, undated.
  • Copy of Suggestion for an Experimental Theatre, written by the Encore staff in conjunction with Peter Brook, undated.

Personal Names

Goodwin, Clive
Tynan, Kenneth. ( 1927-1980)
Brook, Peter

The Establishment Club

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/2
Dates of Creation 1961-1964
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

Owen Hale was stage director for Peter Cook's London comedy venue: The Establishment Club. Opened in 1961 its focus was on satire, with performers such as Lenny Bruce, Frankie Howerd, Barry Humphries and Dudley Moore. The club closed in 1964.

Personal Names

Hale, Owen
Cook, Peter
Bruce, Lenny
Humphries, Barry
Howerd, Frankie
Moore, Dudley

Correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/2/1
Dates of Creation 1961-1964
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

  • Letter from Peter Cook to Hale, addressed to "London's only Male Satirist": signed, dated Dec 1962.
  • Telegram from Peter Cook to Hale asking for photographs: dated Apr 1963.
  • Thank-you letter from Agnes Bernelle to Hale: signed and undated.
  • Thank-you note from Peter Cook and Nick Garland to Hale: signed and undated.

Personal Names

Owen, Hale
Cook, Peter
Bernelle, Agnes
Garland , Nick

Programmes, promotional and general materials

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/2/2
Dates of Creation 1961-1964
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains the following:

  • Invitation for the opening night of The Establishment Club, 1961.
  • Invitation to the first night of So Much to Remember,1963.
  • 2x black and white photographs of Fenella Fielding and the cast of So Much to Remember, 1963.
  • Various programmes for The Establishment Club productions, including plays and comedy and variety shows. Stars featured include Lenny Bruce, Ray Martine and Michael Sutin. All are undated.
  • Programme for a Frankie Howerd performance: signed by Howerd, undated.
  • Running list for an evening's show, performers include Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Barry Humphries: annotated, undated.

Personal Names

Hale, Owen
Fielding, Fenella
Howerd, Frankie
Bruce, Lenny
Martine, Ray
Sutin, Michael
Cook, Peter
Moore, Dudley
Humphries , Barry

Oh! What a Lovely War

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/3
Dates of Creation 1964-1965
Physical Description 3 folders and 9 outsize posters

Scope and Content

These folders contain materials related to the 1964-1965 European tour of Joan Littlewood's musical Oh! What a Lovely War by Theatre Workshop, for which Hale was the company manager.


Production and tour materials

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/3/1
Dates of Creation 1964-1965
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

This folder contains the following materials, all dated 1964-1965:

  • Accounts ledger and notes, income tax return receipt and weekly takings receipts.
  • Agreement contract "relating to Charges for and "Getting-down" and "Getting-out" Scenery, Properties and Effects.".
  • Small promotional poster.
  • Handwritten performance notes for an unidentified date.
  • Fan letter dated Jan 1965 and various other fan reviews.
  • Assorted review cuttings from unidentified British newspapers.
  • Tour listings sheet and logistics materials; information on hotels, venues, dates of arrival, hotel receipts, etc.

Appraisal Information

Part of this file is closed under the Data Protection Act 1998 until 01/01/2046.

Personal Names

Hale, Owen

Photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/401/3/2
Dates of Creation 1964-1965
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains 31 black and white publicity and production photographs, some are labelled and one is annotated. The set includes some photographs of the cast and crew setting up the stage and costume-change areas.