Material about theatres

Scope and Content

The long Melville connection with theatres both in London and the provinces generated paperwork connected with the day to day running such as accounts, advertisements, contracts, galleyproofs, inventories, leases, theatre plans, letters, notices, obituaries, notes on theatrical and theatre history, licences, reports, reviews, sale conditions and staff lists. Also included in the section are memorabilia connected with specific theatres. These include publicity material, prints and press cuttings.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Melville tradition of owning and managing theatres started with Andrew Meville I and his father George, but blossomed with Andrew Melville I's sons Andrew II, Frederick and Walter. This was the era of the great actor-managers such as Henry Irving and Herbert Draper Beerbohm Tree, and the Melvilles became a part of that tradition. Walter and Frederick formed a strong partnership, working together in theatres such as the Lyceum in the Strand, which they owned from 1909 to 1939, and the Prince's Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, which they had built in 1911. Their relationship was often stormy but productive. Their pantomimes at the Lyceum were always very successful.


This section is arranged by geographical location of theatres.