New home fits the bill for one of the most important private theatre collections in the world
Friday 17 June 2011
One of the most important private theatre collections in the world, that of the actors and historians Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson, has at last found an ideal home at Bristol University, where it will be preserved as an educational and research facility within the university's theatre library.
Mander and Mitchenson, whom Noël Coward dubbed "Gog and Magog", met while playing small parts in a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in the late 1950s and formed a professional and personal partnership in their large house in Sydenham, south-east London. There, they amassed an unparalleled collection of programmes, photographs, memorabilia and paintings, supplying priceless information to journalists and historians, as well as producing their own books.
A charitable trust was formed under the presidency of Laurence Olivier to ensure the collection's long-term future. After Mander's death in 1983, the collection moved to a Georgian mansion in Beckenham Place Park, then to the City, then on to Greenwich, before arriving in Bristol.
One of my favourite items, a painting by June Mendoza, shows the boys clutching mementoes in a hall of mirrors with a further, interior portrait of Ray leaning over Joe with the latest tittle-tattle. I think he's now whispering, "Well, here we are then, all ship-shape and Bristol fashion."
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Monty Python-inspired Australian Sam Simmons wins comedy award with 'very silly' show
X Factor hopeful Mason Noise: 'How is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in the music business, let alone a judge?'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Online toy marathon to launch new film
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser