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Uncategorized August 16, 2010

MAGIC CARPETS

The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests … Bean (our dog) gave the seal of approval to our new Afghan carpet – yes Afghan, and from the province of Kunduz. Not a mile away from Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre, where I saw the twelve plays about Afghanistan I’ve spoken of so

Uncategorized August 9, 2010

A NUANCE OF UNDERSTANDING

Helen: The spotlight was on you and you alone, and you weren’t even young men; you were children. … David: All right, then. Go on. What did we do with this spotlight? Helen: You did what any child would do. You danced in it.                       

Uncategorized August 2, 2010

FINDING A VOICE

     All I have is a voice      To undo the folded lie,      The romantic lie in the brain      Of the sensual man-in-the-street      And the lie of Authority      Whose buildings grope the sky:      There is no such thing as the State     

Uncategorized July 26, 2010

POPERY, PUPPETRY, PASHTUNS AND PICASSO

In response to your charming comments about Bean, I open with a picture of her relaxing between diplomatic missions: ************ I can see the Pope chain-smoking now. Are you old enough to remember? I am, though I never actually saw the play, way back in 1968. It was called Hadrian VII and had been adapted

Uncategorized July 18, 2010

DOG DAYS AND TALES FROM THE BRITISH RAJ

Ambassador Bean Through Bean, our family terrier, I have informally met one of the district’s more colourful and intriguing characters, somebody I have passed in the street many times over the years I have lived here and whom I have wondered about in vain. He’s betrayed never a flicker when I’ve looked into his eyes.

Uncategorized July 12, 2010

ENGLISH LORDS AND RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARIES

Last Sunday I attended the Midsomer Murders farewell garden party for John Nettles near Great Missenden. It was like a bumper edition of the show – lots of smart and pretty straw hats, though no suspicious looks. John gave a short speech in which he acknowledged his OBE, but said it stood for ‘Other Buggers’

Uncategorized July 4, 2010

BILL NAUGHTON – A CENTENARY BLOG

Bill Naughton (1910-1992) Photo by Ida Kar 12 June marked the centenary of the birth of playwright Bill Naughton. It was he that in 1963 provided me with my first West End part, the younger brother in All in Good Time, which transferred from Bernard Miles’s Mermaid Theatre to the Phoenix. I had to convince

Uncategorized July 2, 2010

REEL LIFE: KRAPP’S LAST TAPE

Nothing I have written, or can write now, seems adequate or even necessary by way of introduction to the intense, sparse poetry of this little masterpiece. It was an RSC production that played Stratford’s Other Place and the Pit at the Barbican and was included in the New York (BAM) and Washington season. Subsequently it

Uncategorized June 27, 2010

TOMORROW TO FRESH WOODS AND PASTURES NEW

In the garden under the sunshade on another ‘perfect’ summer Sunday morning. I am wearing black — not in mourning; a white shirt would reflect on the laptop screen. But there may be sadness today because … that’s it — a mere five weeks including previews and The Fantasticks has closed. We had a torrid

Uncategorized June 20, 2010

WIMSEY REDUX

I don’t think I could have got through this last week were it not for CoQ-10. British doctors tell you – have told me – that I was not suffering depletion of energy as a result of taking statins to lower cholesterol, and they have religiously insisted that I must take them. But there is