book news collecta-belle

Collections cataloguing: Box 5 (and Vivien Leigh in Chinese)

Has spring arrived where you are? We still seem to be stuck in the doldrums of winter here in Northern England. There was a metaphorical bright spot about a week ago when I learned that my book, Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, was translated into simplified Chinese and published in China! They’ve apparently changed the title to something like Vivien Leigh: Forever Gone With the Wind (because sure, why not!) and the cover is different as well. But the photos and, I’m assuming, the content remain the same. I quite like the design!

What do you all think?

  • Vivien Leigh in Chinese

In other news, the weather is horrible today, a perfect excuse to say in with a cup of tea and a box of Viv and Larry ephemera. Work on digitising and cataloguing the Richard Mangan Laurence Olivier Collection continues apace. I’m currently finishing up with box 7 and have repackaged 11 boxes of material, thanks to the support and generosity of the Viv and Larry Patrons. Some people may find cataloguing archives to be boring and tedious, but I actually really like getting stuck in with this sort of work. It gives me an opportunity to carefully look at and consider each photograph, playbill, etc. Plus, it’s kind of soothing. I do it all the time during my day job. Just stick my headphones in, turn on Spotify, and off I go.

Here are some highlights from Box 5. As of this writing, I’m up to 1947 in Olivier’s stage career and have catalogued 784 individual pieces of ephemera.

The King of Nowhere, 1938

The King of Nowhere, 1938
Cover of Theatre World magazine, April 1938. Laurence Oivier and Marda Vanne in James Bridie’s The King of Nowhere. RMLO_421 / Kendra Bean Collection.

Henry Irving Centenary Matinee, 1938

Henry Irving Centenary Matinee, 1938
Programme for the Henry Irving Centenary Matinee at the Lyceum Theatre, London, May 23, 1938. RMLO_434 / Kendra Bean Collection.
Laurence Olivier (far right) as Jingle. Henry Irving Centenary Matinee, 1938.
Laurence Olivier playing the Henry Irving part in a scene from “Jingle”, during the Henry Irving Centenary Matinee on May 23, 1938. RMLO_436 / Kendra Bean Collection.

Romeo and Juliet, 1940

Chicago programme for Romeo and Juliet, starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh
Romeo and Juliet, starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Programme from the Auditorium Theater, Chicago, 1940. RMLO_450 / Kendra Bean Collection.

Marriage license

Facsimile of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh's marriage license
Facsimile of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh’s marriage license. Dated August 30, 1940. RMLO_463 / Kendra Bean Collection.

Salute to the Red Army, 1943

Salute to the Red Army at the Royal Albert Hall, 1943 programme
Programme for Salute to the Red Army. Royal Albert Hall, Sunday, February 21, 1943. Laurence Olivier performed “A Foreword for Victory” (from medieval Russia when Alexander Nevsky defeated the German invaders). RMLO_473 / Kendra Bean Collection.

Peer Gynt, 1944

Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier in Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, 1944
Ralph Richardson (Peer Gynt) and Laurence Olivier (The Button Moulder) in Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, 1944. Rough proof photograph by John Vickers. RMLO_478 / Kendra Bean Collection.

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Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (1)

  1. Kendra,


    Thank you very much for creating this wonderful website and tribute to my favorite ACTOR ever, Vivien Leigh+

    Kevin Kauffman
    Preferred Pronoun Mister+

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