About this Archive
John Dalby (1929-2017) was a British actor, singer, composer and musician. Born in Bristol, he attended the Bristol Old Vic School, The Guildhall School for Music and Drama and appeared in many roles on stage and screen. He also worked behind the scenes as a composer - most notably perhaps for the 1984 film 'A Passage to India', in which he had a cameo role. Dalby also taught singing at the London School of Music and Dramatic Art and at the Actor's Richmond Company. He was a dear friend to many in the music and theatre industry, and upon his death, he left his partner of 57 years, also named John.
Scope and content:
Papers of John Leonard Burkitt Dalby (1929-2017), including Diaries kept by John Dalby listing auditions, rehearsals and productions, appointments with singing students as well as personal commitments with friends and his partner. (1947-2017); Letters written to and from John Dalby throughout the course of his life relating to personal and professional matters, including correspondence to John Thompson (Dalby's partner of 57 years), Max Adrian, Albert Ferber, Fenella Fielding, John Fraser, Alec Guinness, Evelyn ‘Boo’ Laye, Laurier Lister, Eric Lloyd and Geraldine Stephenson. (1946-2007); Musical scores and drafts of Dalby's original compositions including the musicals ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘The Rose and The Ring’, ‘The Magic Carpet’, 'The Tumble Stone' and ‘The Pocket Venus’, the revue first called ‘An Evening with Us’ and then ‘One in the Eye’, the songs from his album with Decca Records called ‘Get Me!’, arrangements Dalby wrote and made for the film ‘A Passage to India’, original piano solos, duets and choral anthems. (1964-2012); Scripts Dalby wrote for his musicals ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘The Rose and The Ring’, ‘The Magic Carpet’ and ‘The Pocket Venus’, a copy of his published books ‘How to Speak Well in Business’, ‘Laban for All’, ‘Sun on the Water’ (co-written about Kirsty MacColl with her mother Jean Newlove), a pdf of his memoir, books dedicated or inscribed to Dalby, drafts of an unpublished memoir about his travels in 1983-1984 called ‘My Passage to India’, and lyrics to his musical compositions. (1964-2020); Illustrations of costume designs for him and his friends to wear at fancy dress parties as well as costumes for characters in his musicals, the Christmas cards he made which often featured him and John Thompson in caricature, and miscellaneous material such as Dalby's school sketchbook. (c1939-2016); Posters, press cuttings and theatrical ephemera relating to productions in which John Dalby performed. (1946-2011); Various types of audiovisual materials featuring John Dalby and his compositions including the album he cut with Decca Records ‘Get Me!’ and recordings of his musicals. Types of materials include vinyl, audio reels, cassettes, VHS, digital audio tapes and CDs. (1961-2012); Photographs of John Dalby taken throughout various stages of his personal and professional life. These include acting headshots, production and promotional stills as well as behind the scenes and personal shots. (c1939-2016); Miscellaneous ephemera, writings and documents accumulated throughout John Dalby's life, including his certification from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his civil partnership registration and the order of service from his funeral. (c1936-2019).
28 boxes, 20 illustrations, 19 posters and 1 scrapbook.