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thm/43 - Donald Wolfit Scrapbooks
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Donald Wolfit Scrapbooks

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43
Dates of Creation 1921-1967
Name of Creator Donald Wolfit
Language of Material English
Physical Description 13 boxes

Scope and Content

The 23 press albums were compiled by/for Wolfit, and give a comprehensive account of his stage work through press notices/programmes from 1921 to 1967. The pre- Second World War volumes include his work at the Old Vic (1929-30), West End and Stratford-upon-Avon, where he played Antony and King Lear in Komisarjevsky’s productions of Antony and Cleopatra (1936) and King Lear (1937). They also cover productions by his own Shakespearian company in association with Phyllis Neilson Terry. The war years are well documented with reference to provincial and ENSA tours, and the celebrated St James’ seasons in London in 1942-43 which saw Donald Wolfit’s celebrated King Lear.

Administrative / Biographical History

Donald Wolfit was born in Nottinghamshire in 1902. As a young man he worked as an assistant stage manager with Charles Doran's Shakespeare Company, and began to pick up small parts on the stage. He later went on to work with Alexander Marsh and with Matheson Lang, and gradually built up a name for himself as a respected actor. He worked at the Old Vic and began working in films, saving this profits in order to start his own company, which he formed in 1937. He played most of the major Shakespearean roles with his company and was known abroad as well as in Britain. He also worked for film and television, and was knighted in 1957. He died in 1968.

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.

Appraisal Information

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

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Donald Wolfit may be found in the biographical files as well as the library collections.

Please ask for details.

Separated Material

The gift also included an original typescript for Harwood’s Cesar and Augusta which has been transferred to the library.

Subjects

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 - Drama
Theater, Great Britain, 20th century

Personal Names

Wolfit, Donald

Cataloguing Info

Title Donald Wolfit Scrapbooks
Creation Created by intern using the Archives Hub EAD Editor 2013-03-05
Revisions

Scrapbook labelled 1921-1924

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/1
Dates of Creation 1921-1924
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Contains a collection of press cuttings and two programmes. The first is for a Dramatic Recital by 'Donald Wolfitt' on 21 Dec 1923 and the second: Mr Charles Doran and his Shakespearean Company 4 - 9 April, 1921. Scrapbook is two thirds full.


Scrapbook labelled with 'Such men are dangerous' quote on front

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/2
Dates of Creation 1927-1928
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Front page enscribed 'Donald Wolfit Press Notices, Sheffield Repository Company, Jan. 1927.' Contains three programmes of plays and a collection of press cuttings.


Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/3
Dates of Creation January 1929-April 1934
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Indexed. Contains a large collection of press cuttings and two pamphlets. The first for A Dramatic & Song Recital by Wolfit and Miss Mary Durham. The second is a souvenir programme for Newark Drama Week 9 April - 14 April, 1934 organised by Donald Wolfit.


Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/4
Dates of Creation May 1934-August 1938
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Indexed. Contains a large collection of press cuttings and a programme for Shakespeare Birthday Festival: Hamlet festival. Also contains a page from The Shakespeare Pictorial titled 'Mr. Donald Wolfit replies'.


Scrapbook labelled 'Donald Wolfit with his Shakespearean Company and Phyllis Neilson-Terry, Autumn Tour 1937, 'Volpone', Westminster Theatre 1938'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/5
Dates of Creation Oct 1937-Jan 1938
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Large fabric covered scrapbook. Contains various press cuttings relating to Wolfit's tour during this period. Last page of book contains a death notice for Wolfit's father 'Mr W. P. Wolfitt'.


Scrapbook labelled 'Donald Wolfit and Company in the plays of Shakespeare'. Has cut outs of various play titles on the front cover.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/6
Dates of Creation 1938-1939
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Large fabric covered scrapbook. Contains a large collection of press cuttings and programmes during this period organised in order of the cities in which the tour took place.


Scrapbook labelled '39 Autumn 40'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/7
Dates of Creation 1939-1940
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Cover has a cut out of a portrait of William Shakespeare and a page from a programme titled 'The Welcome Return Visit of Donald Wolfit in the Plays of Shakespeare with Rosalinde Fuller.' Contains a large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes during this period. Contains six b&w stage photographs of a production of Alice in Wonderland organised by Wolfit


Large Scrapbook labelled 'Feb 1940 to May 1940 Donald Wolfit in the plays of Shakespeare'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/8
Dates of Creation Feb 1940-May 1940
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Contains a large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes during this period. One full programme for The Arts Theatre of Cambridge In Good King Charle's Golden Days. Also contains four letters to Wolfit. Back pages contain four b&w stage photographs.


Large Scrapbook labelled 'News Cuttings No. 7 Dec. 1940 to April 1942'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/9
Dates of Creation Dec 1940-April 1942
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Contains a large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes during this period. Has a pamphlet titled Five Years of Actor Management - A Record of the Productions of Advance Players Association Ltd, under the direction of Donald Wolfit.


Large Scrapbook labelled 'No. 8 May 1942 to July 1943'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/10
Dates of Creation May 1942-July 1943
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Indexed. Contains a large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes and essays during this period. Obituary for Violet Vanbrugh. Two astrological charts. Full programmes for: 'Garrison Theatre One Programme Penny' and Westminster Theatre The Master Theatre and The Imaginary Invalid. St James Theatre: Twelfth Night, King Lear and The Romance of David Garrick. Scrap book only half filled.


Large Scrapbook labelled 'No. 9 Aug 1943 to May 1945'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/11
Dates of Creation Aug 1943-May 1945
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Indexed. Various loose sheets. Contains a large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes and essays during this period. Collection of articles by Beverley Baxter. Pamphlet titled Have you ever seen a play by William Shakespeare acted in the theatre?


Large Scrapbook labelled 'No. 10 May 1945 to April 1946'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/12
Dates of Creation May 1945-April 1946
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Indexed. B&w photograph of five unnamed individuals on the first page. Contains a very large collection of press cuttings and cut out sections of programmes and essays during this period. Pamphlets by the Royal Opera House Cairo. Menu from Thé restaurant.


Scrapbook labelled 'September 1946 to September 1947'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/13
Dates of Creation Sep 1946-Sep 1947
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook is indexed under the title 'Autumn, 1946 tour' and contains newspaper clippings and programmes from this period.


Scrapbook labelled 'September 1947 to March 1949'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/14
Dates of Creation Sep 1947-March 1949
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook is not indexed but contains newspaper clippings and programmes. Contains an article titled 'Mr Wolfit's Career'


Scrapbook labelled: 'No. 12 Canadian Tour. 1947 6th Jan to 15th Feb. Century Theatre New York 18th Feb to 8th March.'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/15
Dates of Creation December 1947-March 1948
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about the reception of Wolfit's tour to Canada during these dates. Contains a programme for the perfrormances 'Twelfth Night' and 'King Lear' at the Captial Theatre, Halifax.


Scrapbook labelled 'No. 14 Canada Dec. 1947 March 1948.'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/16
Dates of Creation July 1959-October 1967
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings relating to Donald Wolfit's tour in Canada.


Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/17
Dates of Creation March 1949-May 1949
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook has a large b&w photograph of Donald Wolfit and a large group of people. The rest of the scrap book holds news clippings.


Scrapbook labelled 'March 1949 to May 1949.'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/18
Dates of Creation March 1949-May 1949
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The Scrapbook contains a large collection of press cuttings and newspaper clippings. Includes a variety of programmes for the Bedford Theatre Camden Town.


Scrapbook labelled 'December 1949 to September 1951'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/19
Dates of Creation December 1949-September 1951
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Contains a large collection of press cuttings and newspaper clippings relating to Wolfit being awarded a C.B.E in the New Year Honours 1950 and clippings relating to a 'controversy with Sheffield council.'


Scrapbook labelled 'September 1951 to April 1953' and 'Mr Donald Wolfit Press Cutting Book' plus various loose sheets.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/20
Dates of Creation September 1951-April 1953
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The scrapbook contains a large collection of press cuttings and a 'Record of Shakespearian performances presented by Advance Players Association Ltd 1937 - 1950.' Also includes four letters pasted into the book. Scrap book is 3/4 full. Additional loose sheets contain newspaper clippings, a programme for Othello, and a booklet titled 'Books of the month.'


Scrapbook labelled 'April 1953 to January 1956'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/21
Dates of Creation April 1953-January 1956
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The scrapbook contains a large collection of press cuttings and newspaper articles such as an article titled 'Nottingham children are keen on the theatre' and a programme for the Scala Theatre production of Peter Pan.


Scrapbook labelled '1956 - 1959'

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/22
Dates of Creation 1956-1959
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The scrapbook contains a large collection of press cuttings and newsaper articles. Front page has a pasted copy of a programme for the Theatre Royal Haymarket production of 'The Strong are Lonely.' Contains newspaper article 'Mr. Wolfit proposes school ban on Shakespeare' and collection of responses.


Large Scrapbook

Reference Number(s) GB 71 thm/43/23
Dates of Creation July 1959-October 1967
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

The scrapbook contains a large collection of press cuttings and newspaper articles. Section discussing Wolfit's quitting of the 'Landscape with figures' production with Cecil Beaton and a souvenir programme of the Robin Hood Theatre, Averham 'Sir Donald and Lady Wolfit '. Also contains a copy of the Observer from 1967 and various correspondence including postcards