Manuscript notes about Tooting Granada cinema by Angela Carter


In these manuscript notes, Angela Carter reveals how important the Granada cinema in Tooting was to her. Carter chose the south west London cinema as a setting for the Omnibus television programme, ‘Angela Carter's Curious Room’. A profile of her life and work, the programme was filmed in January 1992, a month before her death. The notes are part of a collection of related material, including a script and correspondence.

At the Tooting Granada Carter discovered her love for cinema and film – a love that she would later weave into essays and novels such as Wise Children (1991). Perhaps most importantly, the Granada shaped Carter’s imagination and aesthetic sensibility. On those Friday night ‘rare treats’ to the cinema with her father, Carter felt transported from the drab, ordinary world outside:

to step through the door of this dream cathedral of voluptuous thirties wish-fulfillment [sic] architecture was to set up a tension within me that has never resolved the tension between inside + outside, between the unappeasable appetite for the unexpected, the gorgeous, the gim-grack [sic], the fantastic, the free play of the imagination…

These visits, Carter suggests, irreversibly changed her, unlocking ‘a tension’ that she pursued in her fiction. Her ornate, witty prose grew out of this building of kitsch, gothic, rococo extravagance that brashly mixed styles and ‘the real + the false – real marble hugger-mugger with plaster, so you have to tap everything to see if it sounds hollow or solid’.

Full title:
Angela Carter Papers: Interviews
estimated 1991–92; whole volume 1973–92
Manuscript / Draft
Angela Carter
Usage terms

© Displayed with the permission of the Estate of Angela Carter c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN. Angela Carter’s work is published in the UK by Vintage, Virago, Penguin Classics. You may not reuse the material for commercial purposes.

Held by
British Library
Add MS 88899/2/28

Full catalogue details

Related articles

‘What a joy it is to dance and sing!’: Angela Carter and Wise Children

Article by:
Greg Buzwell
Literature 1950–2000, Art, music and popular culture

Legitimacy and illegitimacy, high and low culture, north versus south London, everything in Wise Children has duality at its heart. Greg Buzwell examines Angela Carter’s last novel, the story of Dora and Nora Chance, the Hazard acting dynasty, and a life lived in the public gaze.

Shakespeare and carnival in Angela Carter’s Wise Children

Article by:
Kate Webb
Literature 1950–2000, Gender and sexuality, Art, music and popular culture

Kate Webb introduces Angela Carter's Wise Children, which uses Shakespeare, carnival and Hollywood to challenge distinctions between high and low culture and explore the relationship between energy and disorder.

Angela Carter in postcards

Article by:
Susannah Clapp
Art, music and popular culture

Susannah Clapp, Angela Carter's literary executor, describes going through the writer's papers after her death, and shares the postcards that Carter sent her during their friendship, many of which related to her creative interests.

Related collection items

Related people

Related works

Wise Children

Created by: Angela Carter

The story revolves around the twin Chance girls, music hall performers and illegitimate daughters of the great ...