Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024497, Sun, 18 Aug 2013 13:03:25 -0700

Re: [SIGHTING] Enkrypted words and transparencies
I think Jansy may have hit on a pun, a dig at spiritualism perhaps.

And how apropos that would be as I watched Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" last night on the net. And as it happened I was staying in a hotel on the English Riviera Coward was known to frequent! Totally by chance, I was looking at old snippets of the great Jessie Mathews (does anyone besides me remember her? our Liverpudlian perhaps - Stan?).

Anyway there was Dirk Bogarde reminiscing about the time he brought " mrs Lewis " back to her studio ... and there he was in the Coward play. Now I really am getting to a nabokovian connection here. Ruth Gordon steals the show as Mme Arkady, the medium, but who should play the materialised first wife, Elvira, but Rosemary Harris!

Now that may not ring any Russian bells for you my little dears, but it takes me back to the glorious production, best of my lifetime, of Uncle Vanya. Redgrave as Vanya, Joan Plowright as Sonia, Olivier as Astrov, Sybil Thorndyke as the old nurse ( oh she is a marvel), and guess who as the indolent wife of the antiquarian professor but Rosemary Harris herself!

If you don't recall it, and now that Dmitri has gone over to the "Dubonnet side", who besides Stan and myself were around in those days?, don't feel bad. At least some of it is on youtube. It's the Chichester production, not sure of the year, but it goes back to the fifties I shouldn't be surprised.

Of course it's in English, but I can't imagine a more Chekhovian interpretation. Stanislavsky would have been proud.


ps. If any of you are up for a hilarious limerick about a young lady of Chichester, please write me off List

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