Sunday, 23 February 2014

23rd February 1934 - Terrick to Mary

Office

23rd February 1934


Dear Heart,

I don't try to find original beginnings.  I have so many things to call you that rise up in my mind that you may find them constantly different.

If you had not asked for the letter to arrive tomorrow morning I should have written yesterday.

By the time you get this you will have "done your stuff"; the first performance, the worst, will have been got through.  I hope you do it well.  I think you will because you are pretty confident on the stage.

As a return ticket is the same price as a single one there will be no advantage for me in making a third for Norah.  Also probably I shall be thus able to see more of you to talk to alone.

Very likely you intended your postscript about "feeling differently etc" to be quite plain, but I, in the course of thinking constantly of it, have found about half a dozen possible meanings to it.  So I shall bring it up for discussion when I see you.

Yesterday I finished my two scenes very early and went to see the company do "Abraham Lincoln", free.  The fellow who did Lincoln was splendid.

I came to the conclusion a little time ago that our office (room) was such a mess that it caused us a great waste of time in looking for things.  So yesterday I waited till the Staff Manager went out to lunch and then started in on it.  I made files and cleared drawers, finding, in the process, all sorts of things that I never knew existed, some important, some rubbish, and some doubtful.  When in doubt I scrapped and by the time the S.M. came back I had filled all our four waste paper baskets to overflowing and was throwing things under the table.  Fortunately I had reduced the worst part of the room to order and he was very pleased, so I went on.  I made three dusters so black that they made more dirt than they removed.  I had time to do two thirds or so of the total job and shall do the rest to-day and to-morrow.

9.40. at 186.

Now you are on the stage.  If willing you from a distance does any good, you should be all right.

I went down to the Drama League in the lunch hour and changed my books. I got permission to take the one on Play writing out again.  It must be the most detailed book on the subject in existence.  We are allowed three books at a time.  My other two are "Producing Plays" and "Medieval England".  The last is a mine of information for "Robin Hood".

To be working at the thing I like best and to have you not only encouraging me but helping me is my idea of happiness. (It is not so egoistical and one-sided as it sounds.  To do the same to you at the same time would double the happiness).  So if you have good reference books there I will gladly accept your help.  It won't have to start "after Robin Hood", because the references I shall have to consult before a chapter of  Robin can be written are legion. In a play all the "period" is the job of the stage-manage, in a book the author has to put it in himself.

I am going to keep as close to history as possible, and as close to the legends as possible.  Where the two clash I shall fix things as I like.

My notes on the history and life of the time already fill pages and pages of exercise-book sheets.

Yesterday I definitely refused the black slave part.  I suppose really I am going into the production of plays rather late for the moment, now that Edwy is practically finished and the next job is a book.

It was very interesting watching "Oberammergau" being re-set by the producer after it had already been done badly by her assistant.   I was privately bucked to see that two alterations that I had kept saying should be made, were done, of her own accord, by the producer.

You will not miss anything by not seeing "Oberammagau".  It is a bad play, and it might easily have been a good one.  The author seems preoccupied with sex and so misses a deeper point that the play should have made.

Nor is the final "catastrophe" properly led up to.

I'll stop now, - till this time to-morrow when I shall be watching you.  I am glad I am not sitting next to anyone I know.  I'll do my duty through the intervals.  I suppose I'll identify the two Vicaragians by their being two young girls together and by one of them being the prettiest girl in the gallery.  You had better warn them that you have told me to speak to them.  Otherwise they'll be simply too thrilled!  Will they be in uniform?  You can't answer now, so I'll use my ingenuity.

I say, old thing, can you lend me some articles of make-up?  Because if this is the only play I'm going to be in this spring, it will be a waste of money for me to buy a complete set.  If you can lend me some of the things I can buy the rest.  Your grease-paint - if you have any - will be a womans, but rouge and the haresfoot etc. do fine for both.

Something has happened that may spoil the Reunion for us.  We are having the champion Swiss Yodellers over for it and as they do not speak any English and I am the premier German speaker of the firm I have got to look after them from the time of their arrival in England to their departure, including of course their time at the Albert Hall.  However, I'll slide out of it as much as possible.  There can't be much that I can do for them there except translate "bier" into "beer" or "wein" into "wine".  One day I have to take them twice to the B.B.C. to rehearse and perform.  That should be great fun.

Well, I must stop now.  I have to write to an aunt and forward a letter from Eileen to Renny.

Till to-morrow night, dear.

Love & Kisses

Terrick

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