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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013


Monday, October 20th., Cadogan Square, London.

Josephine Victor
First night of Harwood and Tennyson Jesse's "Pelican" at Ambassadors last night. Josephine Victor, and actress new to London, played the lead. I heard she came from New York and is of Hungarian extraction. She played magnificently and acted everybody else off the stage, really. Only Herbert Marshall and Nicholas Hannen could compare with her at all.

Then to Garrick Club, and ate a kipper (6d.) which was magnificent. Clubs are useful.

Lawrence Langner came to see me today. He said positively that the American taste was against drawing-room plays and decidedly in favour of what he called genre plays, i.e. plays of character strongly developed, middle class or lower middle class. He urged me to write a Five Towns play, even if I did it especially for U.S.A.

Lawrence Langner (1890 – 1962) was a playwright, author, and producer who also pursued a career as a patent attorney. Born near Swansea, South Wales and working most of his life in the United States, he started his career as one of the founders of the Washington Square Players troupe in 1914. In 1919 he founded the Theatre Guild, where he supervised over 200 productions. He was also founder and Chairman of the American Shakespeare Festival, and with his wife, Armina Marshall, he created and operated the Westport Country Playhouse. Besides theatre, Lawrence Langner wrote several books, including an autobiography, titled Magic Curtain. He was awarded the 1958 Tony Award for best play production.

Additionally for October 20th., see 'A surprising reaction' -

Today I took the 12.5 back to London, which went through the Potteries. The sight of this district gave me a shudder. Why should that be? I have written about it with affection, and have described it as having a unique 'beauty'; it has been the source for most of my work which has received critical acclaim; it has contributed not insignificantly to my material comfort; it is the foundation for who I am.
I am now sixty: that may be the problem!

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