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Burrell : scripts and related papers.

 Management Group
Reference Code: GBR/0273/BURRELL

Scope and Contents

In addition to original scripts the papers include documents relating to plays directed by Burrell and plays in which he performed. In some cases, as for example in the Samuel Pepys and some of the Thomas Gray material and 'Cavaliers and Roundheads' Burrell's contribution consists largely of linking passages and the distinction between original scripts and adaptations is blurred.


  • Creation: 1959 - 2011

Conditions Governing Access

Permission to allow copying and reproduction when not for profit; requests for performance or translation rights of plays tbc.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Philip Burrell was born in Pinner on 12 May 1937, son of Frederick Albert and Dora Edith Burrell (née Jones). After attendance at Canon Lane Primary School he went to John Lyon School, Harrow, where he was Head Boy, 1956-57, revived drama and was awarded colours. After National Service in Counter Intelligence in Germany he was admitted at Peterhouse in 1958 and proceeded 1961 (Class II:2 in both parts of the English Tripos) and M.A. in 1965. According to 'with fellow undergraduate John Sharp, he re-founded the College drama society, the Heywood Society, which had atrophied some years before as Secretary 1959-60 and President 1960-61. He appeared in Marlowe Society productions during his time at the University, playing in 'Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay' and in 'Dr Faustus', both at Stratford-upon-Avon and at the Lyric, Hammersmith. He also appeared in a musical at the Lyric Hammersmith with a cast including Derek Jacobi, Corin Redgrave and John Fortune, and included a hit number sung by Michael and Ian McKellen, and was a Member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He joined the 1960 Footlights revue, 'Pop Goes Mrs Jessop', at the invitation of Peter Cook. The following year, directed by David Reid, Michael appeared in the revue, 'I Thought I Saw It Move', along with Peter Bellwood, Hugh Walters, Humphrey Barclay and David Frost. With Cambridge University Mummers in 1960, he played in the world premiere of Arnold Wesker's 'The Kitchen', which won the National Union of Students annual Drama Competition, judged by Harold Hobson. Michael was Secretary of the CU Mummers from 1959 to 1960 and President from 1960 to 1961. He graduated in English in 1961, taking his MA in 1965. [He was with the Royal Shakespeare Company for three years from 1961 and worked subsequently as Assistant Director at Chichester and the Edinburgh Lyceum.] In 2002, the Peterhouse students appointed Michael Honorary President of the Heywood Society; from 2008 to 2011 he was on the Committee of the Peterhouse Society. He succeeded Sir David Wright as Chairman of the Peterhouse Society, from 2013 to his death. Subsequent interests outside work included long periods serving on various committees, including the Drama Panel of the Eastern Arts Association, the boards of Wells Centre, Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, Tiebreak Touring Theatre (where he was Company Secretary for 18 years), Kings Lynn Arts Centre & Festival, The Angles Theatre Wisbech and The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. From 1998 to 2008, Michael was Chair of the Wisbech Events Forum, organising and facilitating community events in Wisbech. In 2002, he became a Trustee of Natural High Experience Ltd, a charity working with disadvantaged young people in Cambridgeshire; he has for some years been its Chairman. In 2008 he became Patron of the Phoenix Writers, a group with mental health problems with whom he has worked for many years. In 2010 he became Principal of Ratzkool, the Wisbech Angles Theatre programme whereby adults and young people can achieve accreditations and qualifications in performing arts. Also in 2010 he was admitted to the American Order of Merit, conferred by the American Biographical Institute. In 2011, Michael joined Jo Brand, Dame Cleo Laine, Sir Derek Jacobi and Claire Tomalin as Patron of The Angles Theatre. Published: Hess, 1980, Borrowing Time, The man who lost America and My sister next door (all 1988) 'Dadie: George Rylands' in Charleston Magazine no. 13, Spring/Summer 1996, pp. 30-35; John Lyon’s dream: the history of Harrow’s John Lyon School (Almyrida Publications, 2013). Died 28 June 2014. His filmography is to be found at Royal Shakespeare Company, 1961-1964. Director King's Lynn Festival, 1965, Chichester Festival Company, 1966, 68. Associate director Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1966-1968, Derby Playhouse, 1974-1976.

Director Wells Center Ltd., 1982-1986, TieBreak Ltd., since 1988. Director Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds, 1994-2000. Director, chief executive Angles Theatre, Wisbech, 1995-2000.

Artistic adviser King's Lynn Festival, 1997-1998. Chairman Wisbech Events Forum, since 1998. Vice chairman, Natural High, Huntingdon, since 2001.


10 archive box(es) (10 boxes) : Paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MS 977

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by his partner, Tony Kinnie, 14 January 2016.


'Hess', 1980; 'Borrowing Time', 'The man who lost America' and 'My sister next door' (all 1988), 'Dadie: George Rylands' in 'Charleston Magazine' no. 13, Spring/Summer 1996, pp. 30-35. 'John Lyon’s dream: the history of Harrow’s John Lyon School' (Almyrida Publications, 2013)


Burrell, Michael Philip (1937-2014) actor and dramatist

2016-10-19 12:14:17+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peterhouse (Ward) Library Repository

Ward Library
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RD United Kingdom
+441223 338218