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Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Monday, December 3rd., Cadogan Square, London.

Walk round Shaftesbury Avenue, etc., to Reform Club to get ideas for "Punch and Judy". I got some, and I got more at the Club between 12.30 and 1. I did a little writing of the film between 5 and 6.30. 

Dined at home, and we dashed off to see Tallulah Bankhead in "Her Cardboard Lover", a French farce by Duval, anglicised by P. G. Wodehouse and another. This was quite a good boulevard farce in the traditional manner, well played by Tallulah and Leslie Howard. The rest very mediocre. Wodehouse had handled it with some skill. It was nothing at all, of course, excessively old-fashioned; but it was not so very boring. Tallulah has great resource, and so has Leslie Howard.

Her Cardboard Lover Theatre: Lyric; Opening Date: Aug. 21, 1928; Performances: 173; Playwright: Valerie Wyngate & P.G. Wodehouse; Director: Gilbert Miller; Producer: Leslie Howard. 

“Her Cardboard Lover,” is an adaptation of a typical French farce. Simone, a bewitching French girl, very well played by Miss Tallulah Bankhead, has divorced her husband, but decides to take up “a cardboard lover” to help her resist the temptation of returning to her fascinating spouse. The “dummy” lover takes his job very seriously, and the various complications provide many amusing situations. The “high spot” of the play is a disrobing scene by Miss Bankhead. Mr. Leslie Howard, a young actor who has achieved a big reputation in America, was a great success as the makeshift lover, his acting being first rate throughout. (Daily Mirror, August 22, 1928)

We got home by 11.15, after learning that the King was slightly better, as if I cared either way; but if not him then it would be one of the parasites-in-waiting. Plus ca change. Crowds continually in front of the Palace. Are they there as some sort of remote moral support to the King, or do they hope to be able to say: "I was there when the old King died"? Most likely the latter.

I read some of J. W. N. Sullivan's "Beethoven", and wasn't much struck by it. Then 100 pages of "Alice in Wonderland". Quite readable, though confined to one set of fanciful invention. Tenniel's pictures very ugly.

Additionally for December 3rd., see 'A winter funeral' -

These funeral rites in an English winter are absolutely barbaric. I met Max at the gate, and was so moved, unknown to myself till the moment came, that I could not speak to him.

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