Bundle of copy correspondence

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 FRD1/1/400
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 RDS44-54.
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      14 pieces; 26 leaves.

Scope and Content

With George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), dramatist. Copies of original correspondence dating from 14 February 1940 to 2 March 1950. Principally modern photocopies although there are also some original typescript copies.

/1-7 relate to Shaw's play The Devil's Disciple which RD took on tour in 1940, including: his initial request to produce the play; royalty arrangements; actors involved in the production; Shaw's comments on the production which he attended on 14 August 1940, including various criticisms and comments on scenes and individual actors, and on Milton Rosmer's production; and RD's response to this letter (which he confesses "took the wind out of my sails").

/8-14 include references to: Shaw's Heartbreak House in which RD starred as Captain Shotover at the Cambridge Theatre, London in March 1943; RD's make-up for the role; his admiration of the play; Shaw's hope that the fortunes of the play will revive on RD's return in July 1943 after a period away; Shaw's criticism of RD as Shotover in August 1943, claiming "the matinée idol shines through the obviously false beard and draws the money"; RD's request to do Saint Joan at the Westminster in 1943; and a request to use a quote from Shaw's Our Theatres in the Nineties in a Frank Benson memorial programme in 1950.

/7 is a typescript copy version of the photocopy letter /6; /12-13 are typescript versions of the photocopied letter /11.

Typescript and photocopies.