Anne Heaton and John Field Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains photographs and correspondence relating to the careers of Anne Heaton and John Field, together with a 1804 copy of Henry IV Part II, revised by J.P. Kemble, and a collection of signed postcards, mostly of theatrical personalities, from the early 20th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Anne Heaton (born 19 November 1930) trained with Janet Cranmore in Birmingham and at the Sadler's Wells School. She joined Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet in 1945 and danced with Sadler's Wells Ballet (the Royal Ballet) between 1948 and 1959. There, she became a principle dancer, creating roles for Andrée Howard, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. She returned as a guest artist until 1962. She subsequently taught for many years at Arts Educational School and supported her husband, John Field (whom she married in 1958) in many of his projects.

John Field (born 22 October 1921; died 3 August 1991) studied with Edna Slocombe and Shelagh Elliott-Clarke in Liverpool and performed with the Liverpool Ballet Club before joining the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1939. He danced with them until 1942, when he served with the RAF. He rejoined the Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1947 as a leading dancer and notable partner of Beryl Grey, Violetta Elvin and Svetlana Beriosova. He was the director and artistic director of a number of companies: Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet (1955-70), La Scala Milan (1971-74), Royal Academy of Dancing (1975-79), London Festival Ballet (1979-84), and the British Ballet Organisation (1984-91). Field was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1967. He was noted for nurturing young artists and was passionate about theatre.


This collection is arranged as follows:

  • THM/333/1 - Photographic material relating to the careers of Anne Heaton and John Field
  • THM/333/2 - Contracts and correspondence relating to John Field as a dancer
  • THM/333/3 - Material relating to the careers of John Field and Anne Heaton

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Collection of material given by Anne Heaton, ballerina with the Sadler's Wells/Royal Ballet, concerning her career and that of her husband, John Field.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

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


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Anne Heaton: biographical and photograph files, V&A Department of Theatre & Performance.

John Field: biographical and photograph files, V&A Department of Theatre & Performance.