I have been quoting from ["The Noel Coward Diaries"] for three weeks, to an insolent, cowering wife and baffled, jeering friends. I first met The Master in 1959. Tony Richardson, the stage and film director, rang me from Nottingham, where Coward's "Look After Lulu" had opened before coming into London's Royal Court. Mischievous, hectoring, he pleaded: "I mean, you've got to come up. Noël's determined to be WITTY. All the time." I did go, saw what he meant immediately, but didn't fail to be somewhat transfixed.
It is impossible for outsiders to realize what ill feeling, bile and even wayward hatred existed in those days among those who practiced my trade [of playwriting]. Reading these...
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