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LITTLEWOOD, Joan

1 p. ALS, IN ORIGINAL AIR MAIL ENVELOPE, TO DAVID GOTHARD, CO-FOUNDER OF THE RIVERSIDE STUDIOS, LONDON.

8 October 1983



1 pp. ALS, 200 x 150 mm, on stiff card, to the verso of which Hals' painting of Hamlet, cut from a magazine, has been affixed. Envelope dated 8 October 1983. Fine.



In both form and content, a wonderfully elegant letter of refusal. Gothard had asked Joan Littlewood to come to the Riverside as a guest producer:

'J.L to D.G -- Sorry for delayed reaction to yr kindly letters -- situation here so unstable that I have only this day found peace to open the letters which have been waiting, in a menacing pile -- for months. I am flattered by yr invitation -- but as a guest producer I would be a disaster. It's not my game.
I have no feeling of obligation towards T[heatre].R[oyal]. E.15. I couldn't bear the place, it was impossible when we moved in -- + couldn't be improved. Delighted with yr success and trust that health and harness will hold. And here is yr Franz Hals award. Joan.'

East 15 drama school grew out of Littlewood's groundbreaking Theatre Workshop, now most often remembered for its premiere productions of Oh! What A Lovely War and Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey, both later filmed. By the time this letter was written Littlewood had left England and was living in France with Baron Philippe de Rothschild (whose autobiography she ghosted).

The letter is written in a riot of random capitals and lower cases, all in Littlewood's beautiful hand -- even the envelope's wording has been underlined in alternate red and blue double rules.





Keywords: Joan Littlewood

£375.00


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