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University of Bristol Theatre Collection
Cantocks Close
Bristol, UK

Phone: (0117) 3315086

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Theatre Collection Peggy Ann Wood (1912-1998)

Peggy Ann Wood in The New Tenant, Department of Drama, University of Bristol Born in Chiswick in 1912, to the composer Arthur Wood, the man responsible for writing the theme tune to the radio drama, The Archers, Peggy Ann Wood first took to the stage aged 15 years.

She first came to Bristol in about 1934 as the leading lady for the Bristol repertory group, The Rapier Players, who were based in the Little Theatre. It was here that she continued her career in theatre for the next 30 years, not only as an actress, but also as a writer and a director. In 1937 she married Ronald Russell, the producer of the Rapier Players and between them they provided a training ground for many actors including Timothy West, Michael Hordern and Constance Chapman.

During the war, Peggy Ann Wood ran the theatre whilst Ronnie served in the Police War Reserves, and once the Prince's Theatre had been bombed in November 1940, the Rapier Players provided the only live theatre in the city of Bristol. The contribution of Ronnie Russell and Peggy Ann Wood to the theatrical heritage of Bristol was commemorated with a Blue Plaque Ceremony in July 2002, which is situated on the outside of Colston Hall, Bristol.

The Peggy Ann Wood Collection is a personal collection illustrating the early career of this wonderful character actress, with production and portrait photographs, press cuttings and theatre programmes. There is also an Oral History tape, recorded with Peggy Ann in 1994. This collection is supplemented with our collections of Little Theatre programmes and production photographs.

View a list of items held in the Theatre Collection relating to Peggy Ann Wood.

Further information can be found at the Bristol Record Office which holds the archive of the Rapier Players, and Bristol Central Library which holds The Russell Collection of sheet music collected by Peggy Ann Wood.

For further information about the Theatre Collection please tel. 0117 331 5086 (daytime) or email