Bundle of correspondence

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 FRD1/1/437
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 RDU1-17.
  • Dates of Creation
      26 Mar 1945-26 Jul 1956
  • Physical Description
      19 pieces; 36 leaves.

Scope and Content

With and relating to Peter Ustinov (b. 1921), actor, writer and raconteur. Topics covered include: RD's initial plans to produce Ustinov's play, The Man Behind the Statue, which he praises enthusiastically in 1945; Ustinov's best wishes for the opening of the production at Manchester Opera House in September 1946; and subsequent troubles with the production. /10-12 are three copies of a long letter from RD to Ustinov dated 5 October 1946, in which he sets out in detail his criticisms of Ustinov's play, scene by scene, asserting that "the main trouble is in your play and not in the production", and hoping that Ustinov will go into the script with him in detail and allow extensive rewriting. /12-15 date from 1947 and relate to a planned but unidentified film, and RD's demand for the revised script of The Man Behind the Statue.

/8 is a copy letter from RD to Fabia Drake dated 4 October 1946, in which he states that his confidence in her has been undermined and he no longer considers her the producer of the Ustinov play.

/16-20 are copy letters from RD dating from 1956 which relate to some scripts of Ustinov's The Banbury Nose and The Man Behind the Statue which RD has found amongst his papers. /17 is a copy letter to Gavin Gordon relating to the return of the musical scores for The Man Behind the Statue.

Manuscript and typescript.