Snoo Wilson Archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence of Snoo Wilson (1948-2013), playwright, director, novelist. Mostly English but including some third party items in other languages. Typescript and photocopies. Partly drafts. The collection is comprised of his literary papers - plays, film scripts, and prose works; professional and personal correspondence including printed emails and faxes; notes and research papers; photographs; programmes relating to productions; printed diaries; miscellaneous papers and works.

Administrative / Biographical History

Snoo Wilson was one of a handful of playwrights who reinvented British theatre in the 1970's and 80's. Together with Howard Brenton, David Hare and Tony Bicât he founded Portable Theatre Company, which presented his early work, including the still performed Pignight .

Born Andrew Wilson, 1948 in Reading. Educated at Bradfield College, Berkshire, 1962-66 and University of East Anglia, 1966-69 (B.A. in English and American Studies) where he was taught by Malcolm Bradbury. Script-editor, on BBC Play for Today, 1973; taught script-writing at the National Film School and The First National Screenwriter's Laboratory. John Whiting Award 1978; UK-US Bicentennial Fellowship, 1980. Associate Professor of Creative Drama at University College of San Diego 1986; taught creative writing, Goldsmiths College, 1997; Visiting drama teacher at Arvon Foundation and at Skyros 2003, 2004.

Film scripts Shadey , directed by Philip Saville, with Antony Sher, Katherine Helmond. The Silent Touch directed by Krystof Zanussi. TV scripts include numerous plays for BBC and ITV as well as radio plays.

Plays include The Pleasure Principle (Royal Court Theatre, London); Vampire (NY Theatre Studio); The Number of the Beast ; The Glad Hand (Royal Court Theatre); The Everest Hotel (Bush Theatre, London); The Grass Widow (Royal Court Theatre); More Light (Bush Theatre and Rose Theatre); Darwin's Flood (Bush Theatre); Loving Reno (New York Off-Off-Broadway, and Bush Theatre). Stage version of Treasure Island (for the American National Theatre for the Deaf), and Erofeyev's Walpurgis Night (Gate Theatre). Adapted Mayakovsky's Bedbug (songs by Gary Kemp, for Royal National Theatre Youth programme 2004). Workshop with National Theatre in May 2003; Sabina (Bush Theatre, 1998); HRH (West End, 1997, directed by Simon Callow, with Corin Redgrave and Amanda Donohoe); Moonshine , 1999 (Hampstead Theatre London and UK tour).

Original musicals include 80 Days (book, lyrics and music by Ray Davies, La Jolla Playhouse, 1987). Earlier opera adaptations: La Colombe (Charles Guonod; new version performed Buxton Festival and Sadler's Wells, 1982); Orpheus in the Underworld (Jacques Offenbach; English National Opera, Houston and LA 1988). Pack up your Troubles about Felix Powell, the troubled author of the world's most famous marching song.

First two volumes of collected plays published by Methuen, 2000.

Arrangement

The collection contains 16 series.

  • SW/1 PLAYS
  • SW/2 NOVELS & SHORT STORIES
  • SW/3 IDEAS, PROJECTS, WORK IN PROGRESS
  • SW/4 SCREENPLAYS, TV AND RADIO
  • SW/5 MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS
  • SW/6 ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES
  • SW/7 BUSINESS PAPERS SERIES
  • SW/8 CORRESPONDENCE
  • SW/9 PERSONAL PAPERS
  • SW/10 PHOTOGRAPHS, POSTCARDS AND ARTWORK
  • SW/11 NOTEBOOKS
  • SW/12 THIRD PARTY SCRIPTS
  • SW/13 REVIEWS
  • SW/14 AUDIO-CASSETTES
  • SW/15 CDS / DVDS
  • SW/16 FILM REEL

Conditions Governing Access

Other than where a specific access restriction is noted, the collection is open for consultation in the Archives Department by appointment during its advertised opening hours.

Acquisition Information

The papers were gifted to the University of East Anglia by Snoo Wilson's widow, Ann McFerran. The papers were delivered to the Archives between April and July 2015.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions can be supplied in hard copy or digital format subject to physical condition and the terms of deposit. A charge is made for this service. Copyright restrictions may apply and the advice of the Archives department should be sought for any use of reproductions other than personal research.

Custodial History

The collection is one of many individual deposits forming part of the wider British Archive for Contemporary Writing, est. 2015.

Personal Names