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Skating Charm

James Wolcott: Kenneth Tynan, 13 December 2001

The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan 
edited by John Lahr.
Bloomsbury, 439 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 7475 5418 8
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... diaries, which Tynan bequeathed on his deathbed to his daughter Tracy. They have been edited by John Lahr, the perfect choice for the task – indeed, an inescapable one. Lahr is Tynan’s true successor at the New Yorker, reviewing theatre for the magazine, as did Tynan, and, more important, filling his loafers as ...

The Story of Joe

Craig Raine, 4 December 1986

The Orton Diaries 
edited by John Lahr.
Methuen, 307 pp., £12.50, November 1986, 0 413 49660 0
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... When Joe Orton was in Tangier, he noted down the following exchange: ‘You like to be fucked or fuck?’ he said. ‘I like to fuck, wherever possible,’ I said. He leaned across and said in a confidential tone: ‘I take it.’ ‘Do you?’ I said. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘up to the last hair.’ ‘You speak very good English,’ I said. Though Orton is aroused, his attention is undeflected ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... the help he got from Gamlin. Forbes wrote to him at the BBC – at the time Forbes’s name was John Theobald Clarke – and Gamlin wrote back, telling Forbes that his letter was so extraordinary he would have to meet him. When they met Gamlin said it would be necessary for him to change his name. ‘Another young actor, ahead of me,’ Forbes wrote years ...

Under-the-Table-Talk

Christopher Tayler: Beckett’s Letters, 19 March 2015

Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-65 
by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 771 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 0 521 86795 5
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... at the Coconut Grove in Miami: the columnist Walter Winchell called it ‘vulgar’ and Bert Lahr, who played Estragon, got a letter asking what a star of The Wizard of Oz was doing ‘in a play which is communistic, atheistic and existential’. ‘This Miami fiasco does not distress me in the smallest degree,’ Beckett wanted Schneider to know, ‘or ...

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