Gillian Hanna Archive

Scope and Content

This archive contains scripts, programmes, flyers, press packs and correspondence relating to the professional career of Gillian Hanna. The material dates between 1962 and 2010.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gillian Hanna was born in Ireland and graduated with a First Class degree in Modern Languages from Trinity College, Dublin. She went on to work as an actor and translator, with extensive credits on stage, television, film and as a voice actor. Her feminist and socialist politics greatly informed her work.

Hanna started her professional career at the Gate Theatre, Dublin playing Mrs Sullen in The Beaux Stratagem. She worked at the Liverpool Everyman and Newcastle University Theatre before joining the left-wing touring companies 7:84 and Belt & Braces. In 1975 she was a founding member of the Monstrous Regiment, the touring feminist theatre company with whom she worked extensively for fifteen years. Her book about the company, Monstrous Regiment: A Collective Celebration was first published by Nick Hern Books in 1991. Dissatisfied with the opportunities available to women working in theatre, Monstrous Regiment's mission was ‘to create a body of work by and about women’ (Monstrous Regiment, 1990), which was specifically geared towards a female-majority company. Notable performances include Caryl Churchill’s Ice Cream (Royal Court, London); A Common Woman, by Franca Rame and Dario Fo at Sheffield Crucible and Half Moon, for which Hanna won the Time Out Best Actress Award; Peg in Wallflowering (West Yorkshire Playhouse), for which she won the TMA/Martini Regional Best Actress Award; Maggie in John B. Keane’s Big Maggie (Birmingham Rep); The Queen Mother in Sue Townsend’s The Queen and I, and Ponica in The House of Bernarda Alba (Theatr Clwyd). Her television credits include The Story of Philip Knight. Hanna translates plays from French and Italian and has published fourteen of her translations of Franca Rame and Dario Fo's plays, including Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, published by Methuen in 1987.

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. .

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. Related material may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

See also Monstrous Regiment Theatre Company Archive - THM/450

Please ask for details.

Personal Names