Theatrical ephemera file

Scope and Content

A bundle of theatrical ephemera collected by RD and originally stored in an unmarked file. It reflects his interest in and enthusiasm for the history of the theatre, particularly his admiration of nineteenth-century actor-manager Henry Irving. It consists of:

  • /1 Typescript list of 19th and early 20th century theatrical programmes and other material, presumably originally in RD's possession.
  • /2 Programme for the Charles Wyndham Celebration of the 20th year of his management at the Criterion Theatre, 1 May 1896, with a ticket for the performance.
  • /3-4 Two copies of a printed statement by RD about a playbill in his possession, which was Henry Irving's personal souvenir of his first appearance on the professional stage at the New Royal Lyceum Theatre, Sunderland; RD outlines how it was found after Irving's death, passed to Austin Brereton, then A.E. Hanford, from whom RD acquired it in 1935 (the playbill itself is not included).
  • /5 Programme for a Matinée in aid of the Jubilee Nurses Fund, held on 29 June 1897 at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, where Irving was the manager.
  • /6-7 Copy letter from RD's secretary to the Curator of London Museum and a letter to RD from the Keeper of the Museum relating to three items (including the Irving playbill mentioned above) loaned to them for an Irving Centenary Exhibition in 1938.
  • /8 Typescript list of Irving memorabilia offered by RD to the Museum for the exhibition.
  • /9-10 Letters to A.E. Hanford from Austin Brereton, dating from 1917 and relating to Henry Irving memorabilia Brereton is offering to Hanford; in /10 he encloses a press cutting relating to Irving's statue.
  • /11-14 Letters to RD from A.E. Hanford, relating to RD's acquisition of Henry Irving material from him; and a letter from an insurance company relating to the insurance of the items.
  • /15 Extract from the Atalanta Scholarship and Reading Union publication: an article on Shakespeare's middle tragedies: Julius Caesar and Hamlet by Professor Church (Jun 1891).
  • /16-25 A series of engravings principally depicting characters and scenes from Hamlet, including John Kemble and Henry Irving in the role of Hamlet.