Owen Hale Collection

Scope and Content

These folders primarily contain materials relating to Hale's work at both Encore Magazine and The Establishment Club. They also contain materials relating to his work as Company Manager for Theatre Workshop during their European tour of Oh! What a Lovely War, his work on a London production of A Lily in Little India, his extensive research on the life of British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, his time at the Studio Theatre, Scarborough and various personal correspondence and ephemera items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Owen Hale, born in 1920 began his theatrical career after serving in the RAF during the Second World War. While in the Treasury department of Hampstead Borough Council he directed three plays for Nalgo (National and Local Government Officers Association) members, after which he left to work as both an actor and a stage manager at the Hampstead Repertory Theatre.

The early 1960s saw Owen become the stage manager for Peter Cook's comedy club The Establishment for four years, following which he worked as company manager for Theatre Workshop's 1964-1965 European tour of Oh! What a Lovely War.

From 1966 to 1975 Hale was publicity manager for a number of theatres in Nottingham, Leicester and Lancaster and at the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead from 1975 to 1985. He was also a director of the Studio Theatre, Scarborough and was a colleague of Stephen Joseph.

Encore Magazine was launched in 1957 with Hale as business manager and patron. He worked there until its closure in 1965 and was co-author of the subsequent Encore Reader.

In 1958 and 1960 Hale published playwright Harold Pinter's first two plays; The Birthday Party and The Caretaker respectively. Owen died in 1995.


This collection has been arranged into the following series:

  • THM/401/1 - Encore Magazine
  • THM/401/2 - The Establishment Club
  • THM/401/3 - Oh! What a Lovely War
  • THM/401/4 - A Lily in Little India
  • THM/401/5 - Studio Theatre, Scarborough
  • THM/401/6 - Kenneth Tynan research materials
  • THM/401/7 - Owen Hale personal materials
  • THM/401/8 - Audio materials

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.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs Maggie Vaughan-Lewis, 1996 and 2011.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The following oversize items are kept separately for conservation reasons:

  • Tour poster for Vienna, Austria, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Cologne, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Hamburg, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Munich, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Stuttgart, Germany, Jan 1965.
  • Tour poster for Wiesbaden, Germany, Jan 1965
  • Three tour posters for Zurich, Switzerland, Jan 1965
  • A large-scale set design for A Lily in Little India which includes annotations for lighting design, and is signed and dated Dec 1965.

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.

The following theatre programmes and fliers have been removed and added to core collections:

  • George Dillon, Comedy Theatre, 1958.
  • 2 x Oh! What a Lovely War, Theatre Workshop Tour, 1963.
  • So Much to Remember, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1963.
  • You're Joking? A Show For Oxfam, Royal Albert Hall, London, date unknown.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Encore Magazine as well as the Oh! What a Lovely War and A Lily in Little India may be found in the library collections and the production files.

Please ask for details.