Three Sisters and other plays Three Sisters and other plays
George Devine’s and Hugh Hunt’s Copy
[trans. GARNETT, Constance] CHEKHOV, Anton

Three Sisters and other plays

London: Chatto & Windus, 1927

12mo, pp. 298. Original olive green boards, blind-stamped to front panel, lettered in gilt to spine. One leaf detached but present, endpapers browned, corners bumped and slight discoloration to leading edges of boards.

First edition, second impression. First published in 1923. HUGH HUNT AND GEORGE DEVINE’S COPY, WITH THEIR SIGNATURES TO FRONT PASTEDOWN.

The theatre director Hugh Hunt [1911-1993] worked extensively at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and the Theatre Royal, Bristol, before becoming Artistic Director of the Old Vic company in London in 1951. In 1961 he was made the first Professor of Drama at Manchester University and oversaw the building of its theatre, which became the home of the professional Contact Theatre Company. Hunt was an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, when he inscribed this book (’Hugh Hunt, Magd. Coll., O[xford] U[nion] D[ramatic] S[ociety]’).

Fellow undergraduate George Devine [1910-1966] was President of the OUDS at the time (his ownership signature is dated 1931).The following year he would invite John Gielgud to direct an OUDS production of Romeo and Juliet. The cast of male undergraduates -- among them Terence Rattigan, James Lees-Milne and Hunt himself (as the Friar) -- were supplemented by two female guest stars: Peggy Ashcroft as Juliet, and Edith Evans as the Nurse. Devine went on to found the London Theatre Studio in 1936, the Old Vic Theatre Centre in 1947, and in 1953 became the first Artistic Director of the newly formed English Stage Company. Based at the Royal Court Theatre in London, its third production, John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger, ushered in the new era of modern British drama, and under Devine’s leadership the Royal Court led the fight to end the censorship exercised by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office — a fight which was won in 1968.

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