Frederick Crooke Archive


Frederick Kenneth Crooke (1908 - 1991) was a theatre designer and design tutor.

With his artistic training at the Royal Academy School, where he mixed with artists such as Mervyn Peake and Leslie Hurry, and at the Academie Julien in France, Freddie Crooke eventually became a professional theatre designer. His most prolific period was between 1940 and 1960, where he formed a close professional and personal association with the theatre director Tyrone Guthrie and the Old Vic Company. Their most notable work together included a modern dress performance ofTroilus and Cressida (1956) with John Neville and Wendy Hiller, and Shakespearean tours to the Svenska Theatre in Finland.

In the late 1950s Crooke started to focus on teaching at Croydon School of Art & Craft where he taught until 1973. He lived most of his life at 24 Wharton Street, a former home of the choreographer, Frederick Ashton.

What the collection holds

The Frederick Crooke Collection is a comprehensive set of original theatre designs, illustrating his work for London Old Vic, Sadler's Wells and touring productions.

The online catalogue for this collection can be viewed here: 
FKC - The Frederick Crooke Collection

Further information

Further Reading
Mervyn Peake by John Watney, 1976

Frederick Crooke self-portrait
Frederick Crooke self-portrait c.1935 Image credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection
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