This very extensive series largely comprises files of correspondence and papers relating to individual theatrical productions and projects with which Basil Dean was associated, arranged in alphabetical order of title. There are also some references to film and television productions. The papers include: contracts and other legal documents, such as agreements between Basil Dean or his various companies (Basil Dean Productions Ltd, ReandeaN Ltd and Dee Cee Tours Ltd) and theatre companies, writers and individual actors for staging productions and engaging performers, as well as occasional court papers relating to disputes; accounts and box-office returns; Lord Chamberlain's licences for performances; cast lists; lighting plots; and miscellaneous material.
These files constitutes an invaluable source for studies of individual productions, as well as broader studies of the financing, management and organization of the commercial theatre between the 1920s and the 1950s. It should be noted, however, that there is much material relating to individual productions in other series: prompt books (DEA/6), scripts (DEA/7), designs (DEA/8), photographs (DEA/9), programmes (DEA/10), and press cuttings (DEA/11). The extensive subseries relating to James Elroy Flecker's Hassan, which Basil Dean adapted for the stage, is an exception. Basil Dean kept all the Hassan material, comprising 815 items, together and this arrangement has been preserved (see DEA/2/32).
In addition to the production files, there are also files relating to the following subjects:
- DEA/2/1, Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.
- DEA/2/8, British Repertory Theatre Festival and Group Theatres Ltd.
- DEA/2/9, British Theatre Conference, 1948.
- DEA/2/10, Sir Alfred Butt: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Queen's Theatre.
- DEA/2/15, Basil Dean (mainly employment contracts).
- DEA/2/16, Dee Cee Tours Ltd.
- DEA/2/21, Festival of Britain 1951.
- DEA/2/26, John Galsworthy.
- DEA/2/27, The Glamis Foundation.
- DEA/2/29, Stewart Granger.
- DEA/2/30, Group Theatres Ltd.
- DEA/2/31, Harlow New Town Recreation Centre.
- DEA/2/34, His Majesty's Theatre.
- DEA/2/47, Music Makers Limited.
- DEA/2/51, The Playhouse, Liverpool.
- DEA/2/55, Revolving Stages Limited.
- DEA/2/65, Stage Lighting.