University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

John Hall:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hall, John, 1925-
Title: John Hall Collection
Dates: 1952-1966, undated
Abstract: John Hall is a British playwright and screenwriter. Typed and handwritten manuscripts for his plays and screen plays comprise most of his collection.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1792
Extent: 7 boxes (2.94 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research. Part or all of this collection is housed off-site and may require up to three business days' notice for access in the Ransom Center's Reading and Viewing Room. Please contact the Center before requesting this material:

Administrative Information


Purchase, 1967 (R3322)

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Hagan Barber, 2012


This finding aid replicates some information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.


  • Box 1: 059188000065125
  • Box 2: 059188000065136
  • Box 3: 059188000065147
  • Box 4: 059188000065158
  • Box 5: 059188000065169
  • Box 6: 059188000065170
  • Box 7: 059188000065180

Container List


The break-up
1.1 Composite handwritten and typed manuscript with handwritten revisions, 138 pages, October - December 1960.
1.2 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 98 pages, October - December 1960.
1.3 Mimeo / broadcast script with handwritten revisions, 68 pages, 1961.
Convolvulus, or Big-mouth and his friend Super-duper
1.4 Typescript with handwritten revisions and inserts and AN to typist, 75 pages, undated.
1.5 Duplicated script, 64 pages, circa 1965. Contains original Act three, not used.
1.6 Duplicated script with typed carbon copy inserts and handwritten revisions, 73 pages, December 1965. Revisions following Windsor production.
1.7 Duplicated script / director’s copy with his handwritten notes, 64 pages, 1965. Contains original Act three, not used.
1.8 Signed duplicated script / master copy with handwritten revisions and revised Act three, 72 pages, 4 November 1965.
1.9 Act one, handwritten manuscript / early drafts / incomplete fragments and 1 typescript page, 39 pages, undated.
1.10 Act two, handwritten and typed manuscript / fragments with handwritten revisions, 15 pages, undated.
Act two, handwritten manuscript / draft with handwritten revisions, 26 pages, undated.
Act three, handwritten and carbon copy manuscript / drafts and workings for revised version, 58 pages, November 1965.
Act three, handwritten manuscript / drafts, 26 pages, undated.
2.1 Act three, signed handwritten manuscript with duplicated paste-ins and handwritten revision, 46 pages in notebook, November 1965. Revised version of Act three.
1.10 Act three, duplicated script, 15 pages, 1965. Discarded version.
2.2 Act three, 2 duplicated scripts of revised version, one with handwritten revisions, 23 pages each, November 1965.
2.3 The play-acters, act one, typescript / draft with handwritten emendations, 21 pages; carbon typescript / draft with handwritten revisions, 21 pages; undated.
2.4 Working notes, handwritten manuscript / notes, 42 pages, undated.
Devices and desires
2.5 Signed handwritten manuscript / first draft with handwritten revisions, 41 pages, 5 September 1965.
2.6 Handwritten carbon copy manuscript / first draft / incomplete, 39 pages, 5 September 1965. First two pages lacking.
Signed typescript with handwritten revisions and title page, 34 pages, 1 October 1965.
Handwritten, typed, and carbon manuscript / fragments with handwritten revisions, 9 pages, 1965.
Exit Joe, running
2.7 Typescript with handwritten revisions, 47 pages, 1964. Revised version. Titles deleted: The big joke and Campus Joe.
2.8 Typescript with handwritten revisions and note and typed and carbon typescript copies of alternate ending, 74 pages, 1964.
2.6 Typescript / fragments with handwritten revisions and typed inserts, 7 pages, 1964. Titled Campus Joe. Pages of act one for retyping.
2.9 Mimeo rehearsal script with handwritten emendations, 89 pages, 1964. Titled Campus Joe.
The hobby horse
2.10 Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy manuscript / fragments of drafts with handwritten revisions, 27 pages, 1965.
2.11 Handwritten manuscript / first draft with handwritten revisions, 37 pages; handwritten carbon copy manuscript / first draft, 38 pages; 15 August 1965. In paper cover with 2 handwritten manuscript pages of cast and setting information pasted in.
2.10 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 19 pages, 1965. 12 pages from original version; 7 pages from revised version of 30 September 1965.
Signed carbon typescript with handwritten revisions and title page, 39 pages, 24 August 1965; 30 August 1965 (revised); 30 September 1965 (revised).
Notes, handwritten manuscript / notes, 33 pages, 1965.
Rewrites, typed and carbon copy manuscript with handwritten revisions, 19 pages, 1965. Included with these: AccL / cover letter to Tony Read, 1 September 1965; ALS to typist re rewrites.
Rewrites, carbon typescript rewrites for insertion and handwritten note of instruction for insertion, 12 pages, 1965.
I, John Brown
3.1 Handwritten manuscript with revisions, 92 pages, undated.
3.2 Signed typescript with handwritten revisions, 80 pages, undated.
3.3 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 81 pages, undated.
3.4 Mimeo with handwritten emendations, 57 pages, 9 April 1966.
3.5 Mimeo with handwritten revisions, 73 pages, undated. Author’s rehearsal copy.
3.6 Mimeo with handwritten revisions and typed inserts, approximately 75 pages, 1963. Prompt copy for Ipswich production.
3.7 Signed mimeo with handwritten revisions, 75 pages, 1 January 1963. Included with this: handwritten note by Hall on envelope.
3.8 Signed mimeo with handwritten revision, 72 pages, 1963 January 1 (revised), 1963 June 29 (revised).
3.9 Signed mimeo / master copy with handwritten revisions, 64 pages, 1 January 1963; 1 August 1963 (revised).
The lizard on the rock
4.1 Proof copy with handwritten revisions and typed inserts, 96 pages, 1956.
2.10 Amendments, mimeo, 6 pages, undated.
4.2 First version, typescript with handwritten revisions, 104 pages, undated.
4.3 Second version, carbon typescript with handwritten emendations, 117 pages, undated.
4.4 Third version, composite mimeo, typed, and carbon copy manuscript with handwritten revisions, 119 pages, undated.
4.5 Fourth version, composite mimeo and carbon copy manuscript with handwritten revisions and typed paste-ins, 117 pages, undated.
4.6 Fifth version, mimeo script with handwritten revisions, 125 pages, 25 November 1959. Correction of Act three only. Included with this: AN by Hall on envelope.
4.7 Fifth version, mimeo script / director’s copy with handwritten revisions, 102 pages, 27 December 1959. Correction of acts one and two only. Included with this: AN by Hall on envelope.
The net
5.1 Typescript with handwritten notes by Miss Harte in role of Mary Teal, 105 pages bound, 1961. For first production.
5.2 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 81 pages bound, undated.
5.3 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions and typed paste-ins, 100 pages bound, undated. Original title The fowler’s net deleted.
5.4 Mimeo with handwritten emendations and typed and carbon copy paste-ins, 66 pages bound, undated. Revised version following first production but not final.
5.5 Typescript with handwritten emendations and notes, 82 pages bound, undated. Earliest version.
A pennyworth of love
5.6 Typescript with handwritten revisions, 105 pages bound, undated. Some pages typed on verso of pages from early version of A lizard on the rock, some on verso of pages from juvenile novel.
5.7 Typescript with handwritten revisions, 129 pages bound, undated. Some revisions by Lionel Hamilton, director of Northampton production.
6.1 Typescript with handwritten revisions, 138 pages bound, undated. Early unperformed version.
6.2 Mimeo with handwritten revisions, 77 pages bound, undated. Master copy for Northampton production.
6.3 Mimeo with handwritten revisions by secretary, 81 pages bound, undated. Written on this: Handwritten revisions and comments probably by Lionel Hamilton, director of Northampton production.
6.4 Mimeo with typed carbon paste-ins and handwritten revisions and notes by Miss Barclay in role of Jackie, 72 pages bound, undated. For Northampton production.
The strangers
6.5 Typescript with handwritten revisions by John Moody, director of Bristol Old Vic production, 83 pages, 1957.
6.6 Duplicated with typescript paste-ins and handwritten revisions by secretary, 86 pages, 1958. Version for O’Toole tour. Title the holiday used for the tour.
6.7 Mimeo with handwritten emendations, 76 pages bound, 1966. Revised authorized version.
6.8 Mimeo with handwritten revisions, 102 pages bound, 1957.
6.9 Signed mimeo with handwritten revisions, 82 pages, 10 April 1958.
7.1 Duplicated with handwritten revisions, 87 pages bound, 1958. Titled The holiday. For O’Toole tour.
The swindler
7.2 Handwritten manuscript, 67 pages, January 1961.
7.3 Mimeo with handwritten emendations and 2 pages of carbon typescript revisions, 68 pages, 1963. Television camera script.
7.4 Mimeo with handwritten revisions, 82 pages, 1963.
2.10 Synopsis, signed typescript, 6 pages. Titled The confidence man.
World behind your back by John Hall and William Eedle
7.5 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions, 89 pages, 1952.
7.6 Carbon typescript with handwritten revisions and typed carbon inserts, 102 pages, 1952.
7.7 Mimeo radio script with handwritten emendations, 38 pages, 17 September 1953. Abridged version.


7.8 ALS to Burnham, Edward re revision on act three of Convolvulus, undated. Included with this: AN of explanation.
TccL to Macowan, Michael, 18 April 1959.
ALS to Moody, John, 5 March 1957.
TccL to Perkins, A. Dyas, 27 August 1957.
AccL, TccL to Read, Anthony, 8 August and 29 August 1965.


7.9 Arts Council of Great Britain. 4 TLS Dick Linklater to Hall, 1956-1958.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre Ltd. 3 TLS to Hall, 1956-1958.
Bridge Productions Limited. TLS director Peter Bridge to Hall, 14 July 1959.
Bristol Old Vic Company. TLS director John Moody to Hall, 15 January 1957.
Donald, James. TLS to Hall, 28 February 1961.
Granada TV Network Limited. TLS story editor Francis Head to Hall, 20 October 1959.
Keele. University. 2 TLS registrar John F. N. Hodgkinson to Hall, 20 June and 1 August 1962.
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 4 TLS principal Michael Macowan to Hall, 1956-1959.
Marlowe Theatre. TLS Clifford William to Hall, 25 January 1957.
Meredith, Nicholas. 2 ALS to Hall, 14 October no year, undated.
Northampton Repertory Theatre. TLS director Dyas Perkins to Hall, 5 August 1957.
Rutherford, Kathleen. ALS to Hall, 24 November 1961.
Sheridan, John. TLS to Hall, 16 April 1962.
Städtische Bühnen Augsburg. TLS to Hall, 18 April 1957. Enclosed with this: three newspaper clippings from German newspapers re The lizard on the rock.


7.10 Unidentified author Hilary. ALS to unidentified recipient, undated.
Art Council of Great Britain. A pennyworth of love: Extracts from the readers’ criticisms, typescript, 2 pages, undated.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Blurb for The lizard on the rock, mimeo, 1 page, 21 June 1957.
Bridge Productions Limited. Personnel list for The lizard on the rock by John Hall, mimeo, 1 page, undated. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of cast and production staff.
British Broadcasting Corporation. Tomorrow’s people: A series of fifty-minute plays for television, duplicated, 14 pages, undated.
Hall, John. Handwritten notes on the plays and first productions of The break-up; Convolvulus; Exit Joe, running; I, John Brown; The lizard on the rock; The net; A pennyworth of love; The strangers; The swindler; and World behind your back. Transfer from Library; not described in card catalog, 5 pages, undated.
Hall, John. Memorandum of agreement with Mercury Theatre for World behind your back, TDS, 1 page, 19 June and 27 June 1952.
Old Vic Theatre. FL to patrons re Bristol production of John Hall’s The strangers, 12 June 1957.
Robinson, Tom. Sketch of set for A pennyworth of love, act one, handwritten manuscript, 1 page, undated.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author’s outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author’s incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date