Box full of theatre treasures

Published: 1 October 2023
Reporter: David Upton

Treasure trove Credit: Ed Clark

Mono Box’s extensive play and audio monologue libraries are to be donated to Northern Academy of Performing Arts, Powerhouse, Theatre503 and Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust.

It’s a unique collection of more than 4,000 play texts and 50 audio recordings of leading actors sharing their theatrical speeches. The library was developed as a way of supporting emerging theatre artists in their creative development. Starting out as a small box of plays, it was formed through donations from more than 200 industry professionals.

Donors include actors Dame Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Tom Hiddleston, Youssef Kerkour, Vanessa Kirby, Lucian Msamati, Himesh Patel and Dame Julie Walters; playwrights Caryl Churchill, Alan Bennett, Arinze Kene and Simon Stephens; theatre directors Roy Alexander Weise, Michael Grandage, Indhu Rubasingham and Lyndsey Turner, as well as Nick Hern Books, Bloomsbury, Methuen Drama, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and Kings Head Theatre.

In the pandemic, an audio library was launched and is a collection of more than 50 recordings by artists such as Sir Derek Jacobi, Alfred Enoch, Claire Cartwright, Dona Croll, Hazel Holder, Danny Kirrane, Kenneth Cranham, Deridre Mullins, Josh O’Conner, Jenna Russell, Thalissa Teixira, and Daniel York performing theatrical speeches.

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