Antrobus, John (1933- )
Scope:
The John Antrobus collection includes manuscripts, printed material, correspondence, journals and diaries, notebooks, photographs, audio, artwork, legal material, professional material, research material, and financial material.

The bulk of the Antrobus collection consists of his manuscripts. Dates given may refer to when the piece was produced / broadcast, or when it was written. For stage plays, dates given are of original productions (if produced).

Stage plays by Antrobus in the collection include The Bed-Sitting Room, written with Spike Milligan (1963); Royal Commission Review, written with Spike Milligan (1964); Cane of Honour (1965); You’ll Come to Love Your Sperm Test (1965); Trixie and Baba (1965); Captain Oates’ Left Sock (1969); Why Bournemouth? (1968); An Apple a Day (televised, 1971); The Looneys (1971); Crete and Sergeant Pepper (1972); Certain Humiliations (1972); The Dinosaurs (1973); The Illegal Immigrant (1974); The Plate (1974); Mrs. Grabowsky’s Academy (1975); Lack of Moral Fibre (1976); They Sleep Together (1976); Jonah (1979); Hitler in Liverpool (1980), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (unproduced, 1984); When Did You Last See Your Trousers?: A Farce, written by Ray Galton (1987); An Arm and a Leg, written by Ray Galton (1997); What Can the Matter Be (1999); and That Woman (1999). Several plays may or may not have been produced and their dates are unclear; these include Casanova; The Galactic Comedian; The Incurables (written with Spike Milligan in some versions); In Praise of Britain; Limpy Lawson; Mister Whitewash; Missionaries; The Old Bell, or Ladies First; One Orange for the Baby; Saint Spiv; Savages; Tanker; The Tourist; The Tummy Patters, and Up in the Hide .

Screenplays by Antrobus in the collection include Hiving Off (based on Captain Oates’ Left Sock ); The Incurables; Lack of Moral Fibre (1985); The Looneys (1992); Carry On Columbus (1992); Dancing with Death, written with Ray Galton (1998); Tom’s Story (1998); An Arm and a Leg (1999); Surviving Spike Milligan ; The Great McGonagall ; and Steptoe and Son: The Wasted Years (2002). Not all screenplays in the collection were produced as films.

Teleplays in the collection include both feature films and episodes of series. Films include The Missing Links (1965); An Apple a Day (1971); and Don’t Feed the Fish (1971). Series represented in the collection include The Idiot Weekly, Price 2d (1956); The Army Game (1957); Bootsie and Snudge (1960); The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine (1971); Room at the Bottom (1986); Get Well Soon (1997); Black Books (2000); A Local Disturbance (2000); Safe and Sure; The Adam Faith Show; King Stephen the Seventh ; and others Also present in the collection are numerous outlines and proposals for television series, including A Park in St. Petersburg (ca. 1996).

Radio scripts in the collection include Brandy! Brandy! (1972); Dinosaurs (1974); Captain Oates’ Left Sock (1970s); LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre) (1976); How I Met Franz (1993); The Lost Commuter; Opening an Account ; and The Great Elephant Education Experiment .

Novels in the collection include The Incurables and Up the Chimney (ca. 1999), as well as the children’s books The Boy with Illuminated Measles (Robson, 1978); Ronnie and the Great Knitted Robbery (1982); Ronnie and the High Rise (Robson, 1992); and Ronnie and the Flying Fitted Carpet (Robson, 1992). Also included is Antrobus’s memoir Surviving Spike Milligan (2002).

Articles in the collection include “Reflections on Literary Efforts,” written with Spike Milligan; “The Bedsitting Room”; “What’s It Like Working With Spike?”; “Writing with Ben Gunn”; and “That’s the Way the Money Goes” and “1939-1945 Plus Overtime,” both written for Punch magazine.

Other manuscripts in the collection include poetry, song lyrics, prayers and affirmations, numerous miscellaneous prose items, and a play by Maggie Antrobus, The Boy with Illuminated Measles . Also included are several sketches written for Spike Milligan, and two manuscripts, “Milligan in Summer” and “Milligan in Spring,” about him.

Printed material in the collection includes numerous playbills and reviews for Antrobus’s plays, including The Bed-Sitting Room (1963); Royal Commission Review (1964); You’ll Come to Love Your Sperm Test (1964-1965); Trixie and Baba (1968); Why Bournemouth? (1968); An Apple a Day (1971); Crete and Sergeant Pepper (1972-1974); Captain Oates’ Left Sock (1973); The Savages (1973-1974); The Looneys (1974); The Illegal Immigrants (1974); Certain Humiliations (1974); The Dinosaurs (1974); The Plate (1974); Mrs. Grabowski’s Academy (1975); The Sleep Together (1976); The Big Job ; Brandy, Brandy ; and That Woman Additional reviews include German reviews of The Boy with Illuminated Measles, and clippings reviews regarding Surviving Spike Milligan . The collection also includes other theatre programs and clippings, including a program signed by Anthony Hopkins (1980s).

Also included in the collections are several magazines printed by the Walt Disney, Co., in English and foreign editions.

Other items include miscellaneous printed items written by Antrobus (1970-1974); “What More Do You Want?” written by Antrobus for Issue: The Magazine of Kingston Polytechnic (1974); issues of Creative Thought and Science of Mind, two religious / science dailies; and a poster.

Correspondence in the collection is a mixture of personal and professional letters, dating from the 1960s to 2003. The extensive correspondence provides a comprehensive view of Antrobus’s entire writing career, as well as his personal life. Notable correspondents include Richard Cotterell, Giles Havergal, Ewan Hooper, Peter James, Martin Jenkins, Oscar Lewenstein, Joan Littlewood, Bernard Miles, Spike Milligan, Christopher Monahan, and Peter Sellers.

Antrobus’s collection includes numerous diaries spanning most of his lengthy career. Most are personal diaries regarding his life; some have a more specific subject, such as his work with Spike Milligan, spiritual reflections, or thoughts regarding the craft of writing. Closely related to Antrobus’s diaries are his notebooks. Most of the notebooks are used by Antrobus to work out his literary ideas, but there is a great deal of overlap between the notebooks and the diaries.

Photographs in the collection include prints of Antrobus, actors (Nicholas Selby, Janet Webb and others), and a television program.

Audio in the collection includes two reel-to-reel magnetic tapes (1/4" format, 7" diameter reels), Brandy! Brandy! and Dinosaurs, with Antrobus and Spike Milligan. Also present is an audio cassette recording of Lack of Moral Fibre, taken from its performance on the BBC, as well two compact discs, “Sound on Vision: 75 Years of the BBC,” and “A Celebration of BBC Radio.”

Artwork in the collection consists of wash drawings mounted on board, for the proposed publication of The Incredibles, as well as two unidentified sketched portraits in pencil (artist unknown).

Legal material in the collection consists of contracts regarding An Apple a Day (1966) and Get Well Soon (1996).

Other material in the collection includes professional material (appointment books; profile of Antrobus including interview; other items), research material (regarding the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society, Ltd, and a family history of Antrobus, sent to him by a fan), and miscellaneous financial material.
CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE INVENTORY OF THE COLLECTION
Notable Figures
1. Antrobus, John, 1933-
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Radio Subject Guide
3. Humor, Comedy, and Satire Subject Guide
4. Poems
5. Theatrical producers and directors – England
6. English drama – 20th century
7. Radio scripts
8. Theater – Production and direction – England
9. Screenplays
10. Novels
11. Dramatists
12. English literature – 20th century
13. Television scripts
14. Authors, English
15. Photographs
16. Diaries