1935-2008, English, Unpublished edition: Papers of John Bell and Anna Volska, [manuscript]. Bell, John, 1940-

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Papers of John Bell and Anna Volska
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/8905198
Physical Description
  • 5.70 m. (24 boxes) + 4 fol. boxes.
Published
  • [1935-2008]
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Papers of John Bell and Anna Volska, 1935-2008.
Creator
  • Bell, John, 1940-
Other Creators
  • Volska, Anna, 1944-
  • Bell, Joy, approximately 1915-2005.
  • Nimrod Theatre Company
  • Bell Shakespeare Company
Published
  • [1935-2008]
Medium
  • [manuscript]
Physical Description
  • 5.70 m. (24 boxes) + 4 fol. boxes.
Subjects
Time Period
  • 1935-2008
Summary
  • MS 8864 comprises correspondence, diaries, notebooks, production files, scripts, sheet music, business papers, teaching notes, scrapbooks, press cuttings, theatre programs, magazines, ephemera and a sound recording. Correspondents include Ron Blair, Jennifer Compton, Barry Dickins, Bob Ellis, Nick Enright, Louis Nowra, Richard Wherret and David Williamson (23 boxes, 3 fol. boxes).
  • The Acc09.208 instalment comprises theatre programmes for Nimrod Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare Company performances, some signed; 21 photographs, including John Bell in costume as Oedipus in 1958, Richard III in 1962 and ca. 1992, Hamlet in 1963 and William Wills in 1972; a studio portrait of Bell aged 18; and, photographs of Bell receiving his honorary doctorate from Newcastle University in 1994. There is a letter from Tony Gilbert to John Bell dated 13 June 1963 reviewing Bell's performance of Hamlet. Also included are speeches given by Bell on various occasions, 1996-2006. There is a scrapbook compiled by Joy Bell, John Bell's mother, containing press clippings, concert and theatre programmes, elocution test results, telegrams, letters, prize certificates and awards, photographs, children's artwork and other Bell family ephemera. The collection also includes personal letters from John Bell to his sister Carmel Leonard. Three audio cassette tapes of interviews with Bell, including an interview with Glen Menzies about The comedy of errors in 1978 are included. Serials, including the Nimrod banner and theatrical advocate, the Nimrod banner, Theatre Australia, Theatre Australia supplement for Cyrano de Bergerac (1980) and the Australian magazine. There are also press clippings relating to John Bell, 1961-2007 (1 box, 1 fol. box).
Biography
  • John Anthony Bell, actor, director and co-founder of Nimrod Theatre Company and the Bell Shakespeare Company, was born in Maitland, New South Wales in 1940. He was educated at Marist Brothers schools and graduated from the University of Sydney (English honours) in 1962. The following year he joined the Old Tote Theatre Company, playing the leading role in Hamlet. In 1964, Bell won a scholarship from the British Council, and spent five years in England with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He married fellow actor Anna Volska in 1965. They returned to Australia in 1969, and Bell spent a year teaching at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. In 1970, he became a co-founder and Artistic Director of Nimrod Theatre Company. In 1990, he formed the Bell Shakespeare Company, performing and touring his own productions of Shakespeare's plays. He received an OBE in 1978 for his services to the performing arts, and was awarded an Australian Artist's Fellowship from the Australia Council in 1993.
  • Actress and theatre director. Anna Volska was born Anna Maria Dobrowolski in Warsaw, Poland. She graduated from NIDA in 1962, and acted with the Old Tote Theatre Company for two years. Anna met John Bell in 1963 when they were both acting in The cherry orchard. They married in 1965 and Anna travelled to England to join John in Stratford-on-Avon, where she played minor roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She was a co-founder of Nimrod Theatre, and directed several productions there, including As you like it, with her husband. She performed leading roles in many plays, including Hamlet, Much ado about nothing, and The seagull. She won a Logie for her role in the TV series Beyond the legend.
  • Joy Bell (née Josephia Agnes Feeney) was the mother of actor and director, John Bell, Maureen Seysener and Carmel Leonard, and grandmother of actor Lucy Bell.
Notes
  • Manuscript reference no.: MS 8864, MS Acc09.208.
  • John Bell interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection Located at National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 1/​730.
  • John Bell interviewed by Michelle Potter in the Esso Performing Arts collection Located at National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 3084.
  • Anna Volska interviewed by Michelle Potter in the Esso Performing Arts collection Located at National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 3083.
Access Conditions
  • Available for research. Not for loan.
Language
  • English
Libraries Australia ID
Contributed by
Libraries Australia

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National Library of Australia. Open to the public 1762279; MS 8864; MS Acc09.208 Unpublished English
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National Library of Australia. Open to the public 1762279; MS 8864; MS Acc09.208 Unpublished English
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