Papers of Sir Robert Helpmann (1909-1986)
- 23 volumes + 56 cm (3 boxes)
- Available for reference
The papers were donated by Sir Robert in 1986 and Mr Chris Brown
The papers provide a record of Helpmann's artistic career from
the age of twenty three. There are 37 small personal diaries
(1950-86) and 23 cuttings books containing correspondence, newspaper
clippings, photographs, invitations, and theatre programs arranged
chronologically by theatrical production (1933-82). There are
also photographs and press cuttings about films, ballet and the
Arts generally (1977-86).
Robert Helpmann was a dancer, choreographer, and actor. He was
born in South Australia in 1909 and died at the age of 77 in 1986.
He danced with Anna Pavlova during her Australian tour in 1926
before joining J C Williamson's company. He was premier danseur
with Sadler's Wells 1933-50. He produced several ballets, choreographed
the ballet Red Shoes, and created The Display for
the Australian Ballet. Helpmann was artistic director of the
Australian Ballet from 1965 to 1976.
Folio 1, 1933-38
Press clippings and photographs of ballet companies and ballet
productions. Included are Vic - Wells, Sadlers Wells, Wise
and foolish virgins, Job, Giselle, The haunted ballroom, The open
air theatre, Fete Polanaise, Casse Noisette, Lu Lac Des Cynes,
Stop press 1, The rakes's progress, Douanes, Carnaval, The gods
go a-begging, Siesta, Apparitions, The sleeping princess, The
northern tours, Prometheus, Les Rendezvous, Nocturne, A wedding
bouquet - words by Gertrude Stein, Checkmate, Midsummer
nights dream (with Vivien Leigh) and The taming of the
Folio 2, 1933-43
Photographs which commemorate ten years on the stage for Sir Robert
Helpmann. The photographs are arranged by ballet, and are listed
in the front of the volume with details such as the character
portrayed, the date of the first performance, the theatre and
the season. Included are Acis and Galatea, Apparitions, Aurora
pas de deux, Baiser de la fée, Barabau, Carnaval, Casse-noisette,
Checkmate, Comus, Coppélia, Cupid and Psyche, Dante Sonata,
Douanes, During the ball, Facade, Fete Polonaise, Giselle, Gods
go a-begging, Hamlet, The haunted ballroom, The jar, Job, The
Judgement of Paris, Le lac des cygnes, Little serenade, The Lord
of Burleigh, Les Masques, Neopolitana, Nocturne, Nursery suite,
Orpheus and Eurydice, Les patineurs, 1860 Party, Pomona, Prometheus,
The prospect before us, The quest, The rake's progress, The rendezvous,
Le roi-nu, Siesta, The sleeping princess, Le spectre de la rose,
Les Sylphides, The wanderer, A wedding bouquet, Wise and foolish
virgins, The wise virgins and The birds.
Photographs of plays include The insect play, A midsummer night's
dream, The taming of the shrew, Stop-press, Swinging the gate,
Precipice and One of our aircraft is missing.
Folio 3, 1938-43
Typescript copies of newspaper clippings together with illustrative
photographs of the productions Gizelle, Apparitions, Nocturne,
Coppelia, Aurora, Cook's man, The wanderer, Le roi nu, The prospect
before us, A midsummer night's dream, Dante Sonata, Les patineurs,
The haunted ballroom, Wedding bouquet, Comus, Hamlet, The rake's
progress and The birds.
Folio 4, 1940-43
Press clippings relating to ballets and theatrical productions
including Dante Sonata, The prospect before us, Comos, Hamlet,
One of our aircraft is missing, The rakes progress, The birds,
The quest and Lu lac des cynes.
Folio 5, 1944
Press clippings and photographs of Hamlet and Miracle
in the Gorbals.
Folio 6, 1946
Press clippings, clippings from telegrams received, and photographs
of Sir Robert Helpmann's ballet Adam Zero.
Folio 7, 1947
Press clippings and photographs of The white devil and
He who gets slapped.
Folio 8, 1947-49
Programs and press clippings of The merchant of Venice, Hamlet,
A midsummer nights dream, Job - Covent Garden (1948), The
miracle of the Gorbals - Covent Garden (1948), The wedding
bouquet - Covent Garden, Don Juan - Covent Garden (1949),
Coppelia - Covent Garden (1949), The Olympians -
Covent Garden (1949), Cinderella - Covent Garden (1949)
and Swan Lake - Copenhagen (1949).
Folio 9, 1948-53
Press clippings, programs and photographs of Red shoes (1948),
Tales of Hoffman, (1951), Don Quixote (1950), Sleeping
beauty - Milan (1950), Dante sonata (1950), Job
(1950), Adam Zero (1950), Madam Butterfly (1950),
Oslo (1950), The prospect before us (1950), Box for
one (1953), The shoeman (1953) and Peter and the
Folio 10, 1950-52
Press clippings, photographs and programs of Caesar and Cleopatra
- St. James (1951), The millionairess (1952), Murder
in the cathedral (1953), Golden city (1950), The
wedding ring (1952) and Antony and Cleopatra - St.
James (1951). The volume also includes many press clippings and
photographs of Katherine Hepburn.
Folio 11, 1953-56
Theatre programs, press clippings and photographs of Le coq
d'or - Covent Garden (1954), Madam Butterfly - Covent
Garden (1953), The Tempest - Old Vic (1954), After the
ball - Liverpool (1954), Order of the Knight of the Eastern
Star (1954), The soldier's tale - Edinburgh Festival
(1954), A midsummer night's dream - Edinburgh Festival
(1954), As you like it - Old Vic (1954), Australian tour
with Katherine Hepburn - The merchant of Venice, Taming of
the shrew and Measure for measure (1955), 25th anniversary
of Sadler's Wells Ballet - Opera House (1956) and Romeo and
Juliet - Old Vic (1956).
Folios 12-14, 1955
These three volumes cover the 1955 Old Vic tour of Australia which
featured Sir Robert Helpmann and Katherine Hepburn. They contain
photographs, press clippings and theatre programs.
Folio 15, 1956-58
Invitations, photographs, press clippings, manuscript letters
and theatre programs relating to the productions of Not for
money or The iron petticoat (1956), Egg walkabout (1956),
Romeo and Juliet (1956), The merchant of Venice
(1956), The two gentlemen of Verona (1957), Antony and
Cleopatra (1957), The tragedy of Titus Andronicus and The
comedy of errors (1957), Richard III (1957), Baalbeck
Festival (1957), Coppelia - television (1957), Nekrassov
(1958) and Nude with violin (1957).
Folio 16, 1958-60
Press clippings, programs, photographs, certificate of letters
covering the productions The rakes progress (1958), Coppelia
(1958), Miracle in the Gorbals (1958), Petrushka
(1958), Film: The big money (1958), Coppelia on
television (1958), Baalbeck (1958), Nude with violin
(1958), Box for one (1958), Dr. Coppelius (1959),
The marriage go-round (1959), Aladdin (1959), Duel
of Angels (1960), The Helpmann story - BBC (1960) and
The sleeping beauty (1960).
Also of note in this volume are press clippings of reviews of
the biography of Sir Robert Helpmann, Robert Helpmann,
by Katherine Sorley Walker together with photographs of Queen
Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret and the Lebanese Order of Merit.
Folio 17, 1961-63
Press clippings, programs, family and personal photographs. Of
note are the number of press clippings about Vivien Leigh. Productions
include Finian's rainbow (1961), Duel of angels (1961),
The ghost sonata (1962), The Old Vic in Mexico (1962),
The Old Vic in Argentina (1962), Coq d'or (1962), 55
days at Peking (1962), Elektra (1963), Checkmate
(1963), Oxfam (1963) and Swan Lake (1963).
Folio 18, 1964-65
Sir Robert Helpmann's Australian tour of 1964-65 and includes
newspaper clippings and photographs of The lyre bird, Camelot
(1964), Catch as catch can (1964) and Melbourne
Folio 19, 1965-67
Invitations, programs and press clippings covering the Australian
Ballet tour of England, 1965, Montreal (1966) (Australia Day -
World Exhibition), The Quiller Memorandum (1966) and Cinderella
Folio 20, 1968
Invitations, press clippings, cartoons, photographs, posters,
telegrams, letters and programs covering the filming of Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang (1968), The Australian Ballet tour of 1968
and Sir Robert Helpmann's Knighthood.
Folio 21, 1968-74
This volume covers the death of Helpmann's mother, the Knighthood
of Sir Robert Helpmann and the Adelaide Festival (1970). There
are press clippings and programs for the productions of Coppelia
in Australia (1969) and Don Quixote in Brisbane (1974).
Folio 22, 1969-82
Press clippings, letters and programs for Cinderella (1969),
Peter Pan (1971), Alice in Wonderland (1972), The
rakes progress (1971), Steps, notes and squeaks (1980),
Valmouth (1982), Colette (1982) and Dame Margot
Fonteyn's Farewell, 1979.
Foilo 23, 1978
Press clippings relating to The mango tree and Patrick.
The addition consists of diaries, order of service, addresses
and eulogy at Helpmann's Memorial Service, newscuttings and photographs.
37 small appointment diaries cover the years 1950-1986. 1959
|1||Diaries 1950-58 (9 items)
|2||Diaries 1960-69 (11 items)
|3||Diaries 1970-79 (10 items)
|4||Diaries 1980-86 (7 items)
|5||Includes an order-of-service and typescripts of the eulogy and addresses given by William Akers and the Reverand Albert McPherson at the memorial service for Helpmann held at the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne on 15 October 1986.
|6||Overseas newscuttings (1942-43), mainly reviews of the Sadler's Wells ballet. Papers include the Cambridge Review, Liverpool Evening News, Liverpool Daily Post, The Scotsman, Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Observer.
|7-15||Australian newscuttings (1977-86) covering ballet, films, and the Arts generally.
|16-18||3 photograph albums.