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

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Having fun

Wednesday, March 14th., Cadogan Square, London.

We went to see Chaplin's film "The Circus" at the New Gallery, where I joined a party. fairly good film: a few fine moments in it, really funny, and some dull parts; the end had pathos with distinction.

The Circus is a 1928 silent film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin with Joseph Plunkett as an uncredited writer. The film stars Chaplin, Al Ernest Garcia, Merna Kennedy, Harry Crocker, George Davis and Henry Bergman. The ringmaster of an impoverished circus hires Chaplin's Little Tramp as a clown, but discovers that he can only be funny unintentionally, not on purpose. The production of the film was the most difficult experience in Chaplin's career. Numerous problems and delays occurred, including a studio fire, the death of Chaplin's mother, as well as Chaplin's bitter divorce from his second wife Lita Grey, and the Internal Revenue Service's claims of Chaplin's owed back taxes, all of which culminated in filming being stalled for eight months. The Circus was the seventh highest grossing silent film in cinema history taking in more than $3.8 million in 1928.

Then all of us in three or four cabs to Sybil Colefax's for supper. A lot of stage nobs came in: Coward, Du Maurier, Leslie Faber, Oliver Messel. Wells came. Victor Beigel sang Viennese popular songs superbly; Noel Coward sang his own songs extremely cleverly. Viola Tree and Oliver Messel gave side-splitting imitations, and I concluded the programme.

Oliver Hilary Sambourne Messel (1904 – 1978) was an English artist and one of the foremost stage designers of the 20th century.
For more on Viola Tree see 'A fateful interest'
For more on Noel Coward see 'A lazy day afloat and ashore'

Additionally for March 14th., see 'Minor distractions of the people'

Yesterday, Reform lunch. Talking about gambling. It was defended by James Currie and even by Lord Buckmaster (see 'False Alarms', Feb. 27th.). Stated to be the one distraction of the people. There is, however, fornication. Apropos of all this, when I was coming home from Hammersmith in the Tube yesterday evening, two workmen got in, one about 35 and the other 18 or 20.

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