Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Dear John, when you're next down in London, it will be my pleasure to treat you to a meal at this restaurant in Bermondsey Street:
Anyway, what the feck does Tom Stoppard know about the theatre? Last night we were at the National watching what promised to be an amusing play by Gorky called Children of the Sun. The write ups have been excellent, it's three-quarters of the way through its run, and there's never anything wrong with a bit of Gorky. By half time, The Cat's Mother was ready to leave, and I was suffering the fidgets. Essentially, the play is about the middle-class fiddling whilst Romeski burns and the greediness of the working classes. We think the heart of the problem was a poor translation - not that my Russian is great - and then made worse by some pretty bland acting of characters that you really couldn't care less about if you tried. Not to worry, the set was marvellous, and the ending included some pyrotechnics, the like of which you're unlikely to see on stage again...an enormous explosion and flames that sent glass flying across the stage. At the interval, we happened to be standing in the foyer, and found ourselves adjacent to Tom Stoppard, his friends and some theatre staff who were discussing the performance. He said it was very good. Either he is the politest man in the world or he knows nothing about the theatre.