Everyman Theatre Collection

Scope and Content

This collection include materials relating to the Everyman Theatre, Hampstead, 1920-1926, by its founder Norman MacDermott.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Everyman, in Hampstead, London, England opened as a cinema on 26 December 1933. The building was first opened as the Hampstead Drill Hall and Assembly Rooms in the 1880s. Later it was transformed into a theatre, the Everyman Theatre, which opened in 1920 under the direction of Norman MacDermott (1890–1977) with the first British production of Jacinto Benavente's Bonds of InterestThe (Los intereses creados, 1907). You Never Can Tell, opened two weeks later and was a success, leading to the performance of more revivals from George Bernard Shaw. Noël Coward's The Vortex was first performed there.

Norman MacDermott was the person responsible for the foundation and management of the Everyman Theatre.. After his experiences he wrote the history of the Everyman theatre, and published in 1975.

In 1938 Norman MacDermott was appointed Director of Entertainments at the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. During the war years, he joined the Department of National Service Entertainment and became the Controller for the Scottish Region. In 1945 he organised a season in Edinburgh as a try-out for a civic theatre and from 1947 worked for St. Dunstan's and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. In 1951 he was the General Manager of the South Bank Exhibition during the Festival of Britain.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to the Everyman Theatre, as well as the 20th century theatre in general may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.

Personal Names