Papers of John Godber (1956-present)
Who is John Godber?
Born 18 May 1956 in Upton, West Yorkshire,
John Harry Godber, is an English Dramatist and the son of a
Yorkshire miner. He attended Minsthorpe High School, South Elmsall,
and went on to undertake teacher training at Bretton Hall College,
West Bretton, both institutions being in West Yorkshire. He is
married to writer and actress Jane Thornton (aka Jane Clifford and
Jane Godber), they have two children together and have co-written a
number of plays.
After qualifying as a teacher, Godber remained
in West Yorkshire and went on to become Head of Drama at Minsthorpe
High School. He was subsequently appointed Professor of Drama at
the University of Hull. In addition to his teaching posts, he was
appointed Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre Company from
1984. He later became Creative Director of the same before leaving
in 2010 having helped the theatre through financially difficult
times. He was also associated with the theatre during its move from
Spring Street to Ferensway in Hull. Following his departure from
Hull Truck, Godber returned to his association with West Yorkshire
as Creative Director of Theatre Royal Wakefield. Here, he
established The John Godber Company as the theatre's resident
Best known as a playwright, Godber has also
wrote quite extensively for television, including being involved
with the series Grange Hill and Brookside. Some of his best known
works include the plays Bouncers, originally produced in 1977 and
remade several times, Shakers, On the Piste and April in Paris. In
2005 he won two BAFTAs for a children’s television production
titled Odd Squad, which was written and filmed in Hull. In the 1993
Plays and Players Yearbook he was calculated to be the third most
performed playwright in the UK behind William Shakespeare and Alan
Ayckbourn. A bibliography of Godber’s works is appended below.
What do the papers
The papers contain the following: notebooks,
1991-2006 [U DJG/1]; scripts, 1970s-2006 [U DJG/2]; accounts, 1990s
[U DJG/3]; contracts & agreements, 1990s [U DJG/4];
correspondence, 1987-2004 [U DJG/5]; production records,
1990s-2000s [U DJG/6]; reviews and Interviews, 1970s-2000s [U
DJG/7]; publicity Material, 1980-2001 [U DJG/8]; programmes,
1980-2006 [U DJG/9]; photographs, 1980s-1990s [U DJG/10]; videos,
1983-2004 [U DJG/11]; papers of Jane Thornton, 1980s-1990s [U
DJG/12]; miscellaneous material, 1982-2005 [U DJG/13].
What can the collection be used to
This collection is a fantastic resource for
anyone researching theatre and drama during the late 20th century.
The papers would lend themselves well to a research project focused
on John Godber himself, playwrights and dramatists working in Hull,
work staged at Hull Truck, and the creative process of turning a
script into a stage production.
Are there any access
The majority of material in this collection is
available for access by any accredited reader at Hull History
Centre. A small number of items may be closed under the Data
Protection Act 1998. Where this is the case a note can be found in
the catalogue of the collection.
Is there any related
Hull History Centre holds a substantial
collection of material relating to theatre and drama which, when
used alongside the papers of John Godber, would aid research into
these areas. Such material includes the following: Theatre
Playbills Collection; Hull Theatre Programmes (U DX304); Programmes
of productions held at the Little Theatre, Hull (C DIDU); Theatre
Programmes and Souvenir booklets (C DIDA); York Theatre Royal
accounts (U DP208); Anthony Minghella - theatre papers (U DTM);
Scripts by Anthony Minghella (U DX364); Alan Plater (U DPR); Hull
Truck Theatre Subject Files (U DMC/834, U DMC/1186).