Records of the Great English Playhouses: Archives of Two Influential Theatres

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From the Finsbury Central Library, London and the Birmingham Public Library

Previous Title: Records of the Great Playhouses

From the archives of these two influential British theatres, researchers can trace the artistic and social history of the theatre.

The Sadler's Wells Archive

This part of the collection documents the rise of Grimaldi, the heyday of popular classical theatre under Samuel Phelps in the 1840's and Sadler's Wells' evolution as a major venue for opera and dance. Included are the manuscripts of 19th-century plays and pantomimes, the sheet music or lyrics of songs performed by Grimaldi and others, performers' biographical materials, press notices and reviews and programs for the period 1880-1912.

The Sadler's Wells Archive: 12 reels

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Archive

The great classical actors and directors honed their craft at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Supported by wealthy patron, Sir Barry Jackson, this stage presented an array of serious dramas featuring the greats, including Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir Laurence Olivier. Within the prompt books, programs, photographs and publicity materials, the spirit and artistic leadership of this theatre institution becomes evident.

Part One: Prompt Books from the Sir Barry Jackson Archive
29 reels

Part Two: Prompt Books from the Sir Barry Jackson Archive, 1933-1952
30 reels

Part Three: Prompt Books from the Sir Barry Jackson Archive, 1953-1971
28 reels

Part Four: Programmes, Playbills, Periodicals, Malvern Festival Material, Press Releases and Press Cuttings
30 reels

Part Five: Production Photos
29 reels

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Archive: 146 reels

Complete Collection: 158 reels