General cuttings books

Scope and Content

This sub-class contains a substantial number of cuttings volumes, many of them compiled and labelled by RD himself. Others bear annotations in other hands, and may have been compiled by other family members, including those in America. A number of the volumes are general in nature, containing cuttings which relate to RD to a greater or lesser extent, but which are connected simply by the fact that they come from American publications, or cover a particular time period. The majority of the volumes, however, are devoted to specific projects of RD's. Dating from the 1930s to the end of his life, they document many of his major plays and films, including those he produced but did not star in. Some projects, such as The Magic Box are extensively represented and fill more than one volume. The cuttings chart RD's successes and failures, critical and public response to his plays and films, the reception of his work in London, the provinces and overseas, as well as containing much information on other stars of the day, British theatre, and the early film industry.

The cuttings are taken from regional and national British papers, theatre and film magazines, American and one or two other overseas publications. They are in the form of notices, reviews, lengthy articles, news stories and features. A number of the theatre-related volumes include articles by well-known dramatic critics.


FRD1/6/3/1-32 are all devoted to specific projects of RD's, principally plays and films. Most of them are labelled, and the original titles are transcribed below. These volumes are arranged broadly chronologically, although where two or more volumes relate to the same production they have been grouped together. The rest of the volumes are more mixed in nature, and may have been acquired by RD or his family from other sources. They include miscellaneous cuttings about his plays and films, more personal and biographical material, as well as a series of four 'General' volumes apparently compiled by RD himself.