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Allan Wilkie (1878-1970)
Papers 1878-1970

MSS 92 W6825p



Most of these papers were donated to the Barr Smith Library in 1981 by Mrs. Kate Wilkie, widow of Allan Wilkie.
Additional notebooks and scrapbooks, identified by an asterisk, and some additional photographs, loose cuttings (1949 and 1954-59) and programmes were purchased from Mr. John East in 2002.


Contents Listing

1.  Talks by Allan Wilkie, principally on Shakespeare and the theatre.
1927, 1949 and undated.  12 items. 
see Special list

2.  Newspaper cuttings, most about Allan Wilkie (including obituaries) but also on theatre more generally, and with some articles by Douglas Wilkie. c1910-1970.
* also 3 separate albums of press notices of and advertisements for performances by the Company in Australia and New Zealand April-July 1922, July 1927-January 1928 and February-April 1930. 3 v.

3.  Personal and family documents.  1878-1970.

- Birth certificate [photocopy of extract] of Allan Wilkie (b 9 February 1878)
- Family tree (Wilkie and Bowyer)
- Extract from Genealogical Quarterly Summer 1948 re Wilkie
- CBE decoration and Warrant of appointment 3 June 1925
- Analysis of the names Allan Wilkie and Frediswyde Hunter-Watts
- Finger prints taken for Canadian visa and accompanying letter January 1945
- Letter of introductions and recommendation 1926, 1931-32 (including from Prime  Ministers [S.M] Bruce 26 July 1926 and J.H. Scullin, 13 October 1931)
- British passport of Allan Wilkie (issued 1954, renewed 1959)
- Printed congratulatory messages and Complimentary Supper menu to Wilkie and Miss Hunter-Watts on the occasion of their 1000th consecutive performance, 13 June 1924
- An appreciation by Sir Archibald Strong  (extract from article in Australian Quarterly June 1930)
- Visiting cards
- Bookplates for library of Allan Wilkie (2 boxes)
- Dinner menu, R.M.S. Ormuz 29 August 1922
- Preface written for Wilkie's autobiography by Ngaio Marsh (signed original and copies of final version) 1961
- Bye-Laws for [Freemasons] Lodge Marine, Calcutta 1910

4.  Allan Wilkie's unpublished autobiography All the world my stage: the reminiscences of a Shakespearean actor-manager in five continents c1959-60  typescript. (2 copies)
Note: a microfiche copy of this has been made and should be used for any further copying.
see also Series 3 for original of Preface by Ngaio Marsh

5.  Letters 1916-1970.  approx. 300 items.
[Includes numerous letters of congratulations on Wilkie's decoration 1925 and of sympathy on the death of Frediswyde Hunter-Watts 1951; letter of Jack Lindsay November 1934 with copy of a paper on 'The Drama in Australia'; and correspondence with Ngaio Marsh 1961]
*additional letter from Walter Murdoch to Douglas Wilkie, 11 June 1956, regarding Allan Wilkie's important contribution to Australian culture.
Also 1 letter from Wilkie to Margaret Symon 1951, 18 letters from Wilkie to Angel Symon (also called ‘Simp’) and Mary Clarke 1958-67, 1 letter from Wilkie to Perdita Eldridge 1991, and 1 letter from Douglas Wilkie to Perdita 1990? (donated by Perdita Eldridge 2014 as additions to the Theatre Collection)
see also Letters of introduction etc. in Series 3.

6.  Programs 1904, 1911-32, 1940-42, c1949 (tour with talk 'Round the World with Shakespeare') and undated.
*includes bound copy of programs of performances at the Majestic Theatre, Newtown April-July 1928.

7.  Photographs (original and reproductions in magazines etc) c1916-41.
 [Mostly Wilkie and Hunter-Watts, but a few of members of their Company and others (including Ngaio Marsh) and a framed print of the Theatre Royal, Hobart]
Note: ten oversize items are in box on SR/E shelves
see Special list

8.  Miscellanea (articles, notes, poems, invitations, etc). 1920-1969.
see Special list

9.  Illuminated addresses.  1917-28.  10 items (leather-bound, framed or in scroll form)
[From the Caledonian Society of Melbourne 1917, members of the Allan Wilkie Company, New Zealand 1921, citizens of Perth 1921, Melbourne 1922, Adelaide 1923 and Hobart (no date), from the people of Queensland 1924, the Shakespearean Society of New South Wales 1922 and 1928, and from his Australian admirers (City of Melbourne)1927]
Note: Oversize items are in a box on SR/E shelves

10.  Promptbooks of the Allan Wilkie Shakespearean Company (printed playtexts with mss annotations, stage directions, excisions etc.).  23 vols.
see Special List

11.  Realia - personal items of Wilkie and Hunter-Watts and items used as part of costume or props in stage performance.  8 items.
 [Lorgnette of Allan Wilkie; medals awarded to Wilkie and Hunter-Watts by P. Bose, Kohinoor Theatre; enameled {visiting card} case inscribed 'Frediswyde'; quizzing-glass used as character Sir Peter Teazle; pectoral cross worn as character Cardinal Wolsey; stage baton [thus described - but possibly a fan case?]; certificate used as prop in performance of Julius Caesar]
Note: the certificate is in the box of oversize items on SR/E shelves

12.  Tape of radio broadcast {tribute to Allan Wilkie?} 15 January 1970.

13.  Photocopies of title pages of books and journals from Allan Wilkie's library
[Some purchased by the Barr Smith Library in 1981 and added to the Allan Wilkie-Frediswyde Hunter-Watts Theatre Collection donated by Mrs F.A.N. Symon in 1976]

14.  Allan Wilkie's record of [weekly salary from acting parts and tours] - Ben Greet and other companies, February 1899-June 1905; and *Record of performances February 1899-December 1904 with Ben Greet and other companies [with name of part, play, place and number of performance].  2v.

15.  'Record of productions given and houses played to commencing after the Geelong fire 1926', January 1927-November 1928 [with summary of takings, January-May 1927 only]

16.  Posters  1910, 1930 and undated. 10 items (Oversize, held in Map Cabinet)

Special Lists

Special List: Series 1  Talks by Allan Wilkie

  • Impressions of the Olivier film Hamlet seen yesterday  20 April 1949
  • The condition of the Australian stage today  (2 copies, one missing final page)
  • Shakespeare and our daily speech
  • [Shakespeare] [for 'Radio Record'?]
  • The drama and the State
  • A few reflections on actors and acting
  • Shakespeare and the public
  • [The art of acting]
  • Shakespeare in the antipodes
  • The ugliness of modern life
  • The drama and the state [not the same text as 5. above]
  • Some curious theatres

Special List: Series 7  Photographs

  • Allan Wilkie when he first went into management
  • Allan Wilkie as Prospero
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Juliet
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Lady Teazle
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Lady Teazle
  • Miss Hunter-Watts portrait  (from publication - multiple copies)
  • Miss Hunter-Watts portrait
  • Miss Hunter-Watts (postcard)
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Salome (postcard)
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Isabella
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Isabella
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Lady Macbeth
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Lady Macbeth .
  • Miss Hunter-Watts as Lady Macbeth
  • Miss Hunter-Watts
  • Miss Hunter-Watts
  • Ngaio Marsh [once a member of Wilkie's company]?
  • Hector Bolitho.
  • Marion Turner
  • Richard Hutteras
  • Arthur Keane 1928
  • Caroline  ?
  • Edgar K. Bruce (Sibley Hicks)
  • Ruth Wightin
  • Advertisement for the Theatre Royal
  • John  ? 1941
  • Ngaio Marsh
  • Group on  stage [production of Merchant of Venice]
  • Miss Hunter-Watts
  • Allan Wilkie [inscribed to Mary Symon]
  • Allan Wilkie [inscribed to Angel Symon]
  • Allan Wilkie as Capt. Terance Fielding and Hunter-Watts as Lady Mary Heather
  • Hunter-Watts at her home (?) at Cloud Cuckoo, Dorset 1933-38  (five photographs)
  • Hunter-Watts (3 photographs)
  • Bust of Allan Wilkie
  • Oversize items
    Allan Wilkie (2 items) portrait and seated
    Hunter-Watts (3 items) including as Ophelia
    Article from Home and garden and (unidentified) sitting room and dining room group photograph, signatures on mount
    Theatre Royal, Hobart (in frame)

    Additional photographs received 2002 from John East:
    Miss Hunter-Watts (3 items, one O'size)
    Allan Wilkie (7 items, two O'size) - two formal portraits, three in character (as Hamlet, Sir Peter Teazle and Corialanus), a cartoon caricature by L.F. Reynolds 1927 and a snapshot with John East October 1968.
    Jean Atholl as Queen Catherine
    William Lockhart and Arthur Keane in Coriolanus (O'size)

Special List: Series 8  Miscellanea

  • Extract from a conversation between Wilkie and Norman Campbell (as published in Sydney Punch 1924)
  • 'English drama in Australia: an interview with Mr Allan Wilkie' Adelaide Teachers' College Magazine May 1930
  • Unpublished paper by Molly Campbell on 'The most remarkable character I have known' [Wilkie]
  • Poem 'When Wilkie played' (after Austin Dobson)
  • Unpublished paper 'Was Hamlet Shakespeare' (by Paul - ? - no author or date) and comment by ? [relates to debate between Henry Irving and Walter Murdoch]
  • Published paper Extract of letter from Marie Tempest to Hector Bolitho, notebook with extracts of (published) works on actors and theatres, list of suburban theatres of London in 1900, miscellaneous extracts re Shakespeare
    Curiosities of the Stage - ms and typed draft outline for book?
  • Copies of poems  'Less Nonsense' by A.P. Herbert, 'The Chess Player' and 'Fleet Street' by Arthur Adams
    Copies of published/proof articles on Shakespeare, the theatre and acting 1920-28, 1966-67 (including 'The case for a National Theatre' by Nigel Playfair 1928, 'The growth and predicament of the New Zealand theatre' by Dame Ngaio Marsh: summary of lecture given before The Society for Theatre Research 5 October 1966, 'Shakespeare's unnecessary characters' by Arthur Colby Sprague 1967 and A history of the Theatre Royal, Hobart by Michael Roe 196?)
  • Copies of transcript of ABG Guest of Honour broadcast with Sir Donald Wolfit March 1960
  • Prints and postcards illustrating scenes from plays of Shakespeare
    Note: a typescript copy of a translation of Alexandre Dumas' Romulus by F.W. Reed, initially included in this collection, has now been catalogued separately and added to the Theatre collection.
    Also, copy of Michael Roe's A history of the Theatre Royal, Hobart;
    Shakespeare Memorial Theatre special edition of Stratford-upon-Avon Herald 23 April 1923;
    Shakespearean Chronicle, no. 1 Brisbane 13 June 1924; another copy catalogued separately in the Theatre Collection.
  • Shakespeare Journal, vol. xii, no. 1 October 1926.


Special List: Series 10  Promptbooks

  • [Untitled - general book of props and stage settings]
  • Bamboozling
  • The rivals
  • The jealous wife
  • King Lear
  • The two gentlemen of Verona
  • King Henry VI (Part 1)
  • A midsummer night’s dream
  • Julius Caesar
  • Othello
  • Coriolanus
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Measure for Measure
  • All’s well that ends well
  • King Henry V
  • As you like it
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • King Henry IV (Part 1) (2 copies)
  • King Henry VIII
  • The winter’s tale
  • Merchant of Venice (2 copies)


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