THIS EVENT HAS TAKEN PLACE
A new research resource became available in July 2009 when theatre director Sir Peter Hall, Chancellor of Kingston University, opened the Sheridan Morley theatre collection. Assembled during his lifetime by critic, wrtier, director and performer Morley it has been presented to the University by his widow Ruth Leon, a critic and writer who often collaborated with him as co-author.
She told guests (who included STR Chairman Ian Herbert, Joint Hon. Sec. Eileen Cottis and committee members Roger Cave and Howard Loxton as well prominent members of the university and eminent members of the profession) that she had toured the country considering other universities with theatre departments before Kingston was suggested to her and how when she had visited Kingston and despite its architecture! she knew this was the right place to give it a new home. She and Sheridan had always made it available to researchers in their own home and now she hoped it would be just as freely available, though perhaps without the tea and biscuits they used to provide!
Sir Peter spoke warmly of Morley and how his life which is widely represented in this collection bridged that gulf between critics and historians and theatre practitioners. Here the ephemeral reputation of those who write mainly daily journalism will be more lastingly preserved but the material is not only represents Morely's own career and his many theatrical connections but that of his father Robert Morley and grandmother Gladys Cooper as well as material of all kinds he collected that covers a period from 1704-2007 and includes programmes, scripts, publicity material, photographs, playbills and posters, set models and 1,792 letters.
The collection will be available by appointment to anyone who wants to see it whenever the library is open: currently 8.30am 9pm Monday to Thursday, until 5pm Fridays and 10am 5pm at weekends. It will be closed Bank Holiday weekends and for a couple of days at the end of July for maintenance work. You can only study material in the library, you can't take things out on loan, but with a staff happy to look material out for you this will be a very useful resource for people from outside the university as well as a great asset to students at Kingston.
An exhibition of highlights from the collection has been arranged in the space dedicated to which adjoins the main Learning Resources Centre on the Prenrhyn Road campus of the university.
You can contact the archivist to arrange a visit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related STR Pages
General Events Archive
Original news item about this collection
30th August 2009