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Papers of Sir Peter Shaffer
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Typed letter from Larry Olivier

The National Theatre - Ken [?] tells him the typed script might reach him by the end of the week, is 'quite peaky with hunger for it' as it has been talked about for so long; has been asking colleagues about their opinion of a new Shaffer play, at the moment Paul Scofield, who won't answer until he has more information.

Notebook of letters from Denis Zaphiro

Letters tipped into a paper-bound notebook labelled ‘Letters Book I’ on front:
Undated, ‘My dear Peter. What a pleasant surprise!’ 4 sheets. A lengthy narrative describes how Peter's gift reminds him of climbing Moricelli in Italy and finding shells there in a pool, similar to those Peter has sent; writes at length about his own story about an anchorite.
[1 Aug. 1944?], ‘Well Peter; here in London and finding it most exciting too’ 2 sheets. Life in London during bombing [Doodlebug Summer], and the attitude to death and reaction to bombing raids, lunchtime bombing of Kensington High St. Disagrees that modern war is not romantic.
Undated, ‘Saturday 1944’ 4 sheets. He meant Peter to understand that he was parodying Peter's style in his last letter, and is disappointed that Peter did not see this; has seen Ernest Milton in Macbeth, and discusses Wolfit in 3 Shakespeare plays; finds it is easy to be Shylockian; is disappointed in his (Denis') story, thinks he is too young yet, will put it away until he is older.
Envelope dated 23 Mar. 1945
Undated, Friday: 11th: 1944 1 sheet. Sends a volume of Italian short stories.
Undated, ‘Thursday. I feel very vicious this morning’ 1 sheet, with two pen-and-ink drawing of himself looking irate on verso. Asks him to write.
Undated, ‘Yes you are right!’ 5 sheets. Reflections on a quarrel they've had; has also been called up, asks for information on his medical, and hopes they can get assigned to the same camp.
11 Nov. 1944 79 Brook Green, London, W.6. 2 sheets, with pen-and-ink drawing at top and tail of letter. Has nothing to write, encloses a book by Forester which will teach Peter to write economically; praises Richard Goolden and Helen Pollack [Ellen Pollock?] in "To True To Be Good".
Rest blank

Typed letter from Frank [Tait]

He misses Peter, and describes his experience of heat as a tactile experience and as close as he'll get to communion; wonders if most Catholic countries are hot and if the weather explains Scottish Presbyterianism; discusses the effects of budget restrictions, the need to define mental illness and ethical guidelines for behavior modification treatments; discusses 'No Man's Land', admires John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson; Elizabeth [Cavendish?] is back and rested, and he deems regular breaks necessary for her; reacts to Peter's story of a group therapy session.

Letter from Kendell Kardt

Is working as a ballet accompanist, asks if PS is still teaching in England, is in touch with Joseph Chaikin, who is still busy despite the stroke that impaired his speech.

Typed letter from Peter Shaffer to Frank Johnson

c/o 11, Cranley Gardens, Flat 7, London S.W.7. 3BB - Explains that he wrote 'The Woman In the Wardrobe' under a pseudonym because he and Anthony [Shaffer] wanted to write two more together under that name; provides a riddle to guess the pseudonym they used. Accompanied by fax transmission sheet.

Letter from John Gielgud

John Gielgud, 16 Cowley Street, London S.W.1. - Discusses casting for 'Five Finger Exercise': [Harry?] Lockart, James Hayter and John Perry's reaction; Brenda de Banzie has the play and is considering it; asks him to come see him after he is launched at the Globe with 'The Potting Shed'.

Typed letter from John Gielgud

John Gielgud, 16 Cowley Street, S.W.1. - Thanks him for his good wishes [for 'The Ages of Man']; the notices are disappointing but hopes people will come and judge for themselves; has just read the two plays ['The Private Ear' and 'The Public Eye'?] and hopes they will be as successful as 'Five Finger Exercise'.

Typed letter from Peter Hall

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Director Peter Hall - Discusses the revised playscript of 'Royal Hunt of the Sun', feels the gains are enormous, still has little quibbles concerning the Interpreter and the Indian language in the first scene; has large reservations about the shape of the play, thinks there is a confusion of epic and domestic style, some scenes could be cut, takes too long to prepare for some scenes; the play has grown, but he must push on for the epic structure.

Typed letter from Lord Palumbo

Arts Council, 14 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 3NQ - Invites him to lunch in order to prepare a National Art Strategy with a focus on theatre and the ways in which related art forms can be more closely integrated.

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