Peter Daubeny World Theatre Season Collection

Scope and Content

The archive contains administrative and publicity records, photographs and posters relating to the World Theatre Season (WTS) between 1964 and 1975. The administrative records relate solely to the WTS programme in 1975 and the vast majority of the publicity records, photographs and posters relate to the years 1972 – 1975, when David Rees was working for the Season. There are some press cuttings and programmes that relate to earlier seasons.

Administrative / Biographical History

The World Theatre Season (WTS) was an annual season of international theatre that took place at the Aldwych Theatre in London between 1964 and 1975. The season was presented by the impresario Peter Daubeny in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The inaugural 1964 season took place as part of the RSC's celebrations for Shakespeare's 400th anniversary and the WTS subsequently became an annual event. Over the course of its eleven year history (there was no season in 1974 due to Peter Daubeny being unwell), the WTS presented forty-eight companies from nineteen countries across four continents.

The WTS had a significant influence on British performance culture, expanding repertoires, impacting on approaches to scenography, directing, acting, playwriting, and developing long-standing relationships between British and international stages.

Before the first WTS in 1964, Daubeny had an established reputation for bringing famous international dance companies to the British stage. He also presented prestigious international ensemble companies in the UK for the first time, most significantly the Berliner Ensemble in 1956, the Moscow Art Theatre in 1958, and the Comédie-Française in 1959. David Rees worked for the WTS as Liaison Officer in 1972, Personal Assistant to Peter Daubeny in 1973, and Season Administrator in 1975.


The archive has been divided into 4 series:

  • THM/85/1 Administrative records
  • THM/85/2 Publicity Records
  • THM/85/3 Production photographs and photo boards
  • THM/85/4 Production and Season posters

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:

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

Acquisition Information

Given by David Rees

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with collection management policy.

Custodial History

The material was generated by David Rees when he worked at the World Theatre Season and was then donated by him to the V&A


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 World Theatre Season, as well as Peter Daubeny may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.