||Cicely Courtneidge (1893 - 1980) was the daughter of the producer Robert Courtneidge and made her first professional stage appearance in his play The Arcadians at the Shaftesbury Theatre in July 1909. In 1916 she married her stage partner, Jack Hulbert and their careers encompassed the stage, radio, television and film. She also recorded popular songs such as Noel Gay's There's Something About A Soldier. In 1972 she was created a Dame for her services to entertainment.|
Jack Hulbert (1892-1978), studied at Cambridge and the Central School of Speech and Drama. Following an appearance at the Queen's Theatre, he was hired by Robert Courtneidge, for his first professional stage performance in The Pearl Girl at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1913. In 1931 he appeared in his first film Sunshine Susie, and throughout the thirties, successfully went on to act, write and direct films. After the war he and his wife, Cicely Courtneidge, transferred their popular entertainment to the theatre and radio, performing revues and musical plays, that encompassed their own brand of light comedy, song and dance.
The archive relates to the professional entertainment activities of Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert. It includes scripts, theatre programmes and correspondence, covering their work between the periods 1927 - 1965. The majority of the items are annotated radio scripts. These include two series of Variety Playhouse, Pocket Theatre from 1959 - 1961, which regularly featured "Miss C and Mr H", and Calling Miss Courtneidge (2nd & 3rd Series, 1955), a show which included special guests such as Dora Bryan, Peter Sellers, Sam Wanamaker, Gene Crowley, Robert Morley, Joan Sims and Margaret Leighton. The archive also reflects their involvement in other radio entertainment of their day including Top of the Town with Terry Thomas, Toast of the Town with Eamonn Andrews, and The Laughtermakers.
View a list of the contents of the
Cicely Courtneidge Collection.