Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Iglass Plate Negatives by Bertram Park and Yvonne Gregory

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Iglass Plate Negatives by Bertram Park and Yvonne Gregory

Article excerpt

Through the kindness of Rosalind Adams, a descendant by marriage of Bertram Park and Yvonne Gregory, the Mander and Mitchenson Collection has recently acquired around 800 negatives taken by these two important theatre photographers. Park and Gregory, husband and wife, flourished mainly in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The plates include studio portraits of Lydia Lopokova, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies and Sybil Thorndike. The bulk of the pictures, however, are of theatre productions and include some of the most important shows of the period.

There is strong coverage of Nigel Playfair's reign at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and particularly of the long-running version of The Beggar's Opera. Frederic Austin revised John Gay's music, Claude Lovat Fraser designed and Playfair himself directed the production, which played for almost fifteen hundred performances.

Sybil Thorndike's career at this time is well documented by pictures of Henry VIII and Macbeth, both directed by Lewis Casson with designs by Charles Ricketts; J. B. Fagan's The Greater Love at the Prince's Theatre in 1927, with an early appearance by Charles Laughton; and the first London production of Shaw's Saint Joan at the New Theatre, with Thorndike in the role with which she would forever be associated. …

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