John Whiting Archive

Scope and Content

This collection is the personal papers of John Whiting relating to his work and his personal life, including; transcripts of various plays he wrote or translated from French and German; correspondence between his wife and mother and various other people regarding production of some of this plays; official papers which include dramatic production contracts and other agreements; short stories and unfinished novels; two original war diaries that relate to Whiting's time serving with the army and transcript copies of other diaries, and programs of plays in which Whiting performed or wrote himself.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Robert Whiting, playwright and actor, was born in 1917 Salisbury, UK. He received his education at Taunton School and then later trained as an actor at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. During the Second World War he was enlisted into the artillery in 1940 mainly serving in anti-aircraft batteries, in 1944 Whiting was invalided out of the army because of illness and nervous debility. Whiting married Asthore Lloyd Mawson (Jackie) in 1940 and had four children with her. After his time in the army Whiting had some success as an actor and then went onto write numerous plays, short stories and plays for radio. Whiting also took up theatre criticism during the last few years of his life for 'London Magazine', some of his work can be found in the 'The Art of Dramatist' (1970).


This collection has been arranged in the following order:

  • THM/222/1 Scripts
  • THM/222/2 Correspondence
  • THM/222/3 Official Papers
  • THM/222/4 Short stories and unfinished novels
  • THM/222/5 Scenarios, performance and revision notes
  • THM/222/6 Diaries from Second World War
  • THM/222/7 Printed Material

Conditions Governing Access

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 the Whiting family.

Separated Material

Programmes from Opera House Scarborough have been added to the Theatre and Performance core collection of production files.

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.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Relevant material may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.