Goldman/ABCA Play Unit Papers

Scope and Content

The papers generated by Goldman's research are full scripts of four plays (by Bridget Boland, Ted Willis and Jack Lindsay) performed by the Unit, interviews conducted in 1973-74 including those with surviving members of the Play Unit, scripts for and excerpts from plays used in the Radio 3 programme, and correspondence. They are accompanied by audiotapes of the programme.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection was formed during research by Dr Arnold Goldman. In 1972, while he was a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Sussex, he developed an interest in the Play Unit of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs (ABCA). ABCA was set up by the British Army in September 1941 to provide education for troops on topical political and social issues. In 1942 and 1943, of the ABCA Play Unit aimed to introduce such issues to the troops through the medium of drama. Goldman's interest in the Play Unit led to a programme called 'A Theatre at War: the ABCA Play Unit' broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 13 March 1975.

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of The Keep's Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Professor Arnold Goldman in November 2000


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids

An online catalogue is available on The Keep's website .

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright, conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents, digital copies can be made.

Some items in this collection are photocopies of original documents which are in copyright. Copies can only be supplied only with the written permission of the copyright owner or representative.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Head of Special Collections, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.