There being not very much worth watching on Greek TV recently we’ve been resurrecting some of our oldies. Watched ‘Topsy Turvy’, a few nights ago, the film on Gilbert and Sullivan and ever since the songs from the Mikado have been going round and around in my head so think we had better play another musical to get rid of them. Well they were displaced briefly by Prokofief’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ but they now seem to be vieing with each other. ‘How potent cheap music is’, Noel Coward is reputed to have said but how potent good music is as well. And siesta time a couple of days ago I had the most amazing dream: I wrote a complete musical specifically for David Harwell and went over to the states to play it for him, there having been a recording already made, words and music. He sat there drinking a cup of tea and nodding approval with each number. I remember they were all pretty upbeat but that’s all I remember. When is some mad scientist going to invent a sort of decoder that fits to your head whilst you’re asleep and that will faithfully record your dreams for playback? Too late for me obviously but I had a hit musical there for a short while.
‘Fawlty Towers’ has also come out of mothballs, one episode anyway, and just as funny as it originally was. We also watched a twenty minute ballet from the Nederland’s Dans Theater called ‘The submerged Cathedral’ which did absolutely nothing for me I’m afraid and once again we watched the film ‘Fairy Tale’, based on the little girls in Yorkshire who took photographs of fairies at the bottom of the garden: a quite entrancing movie with two beautiful little girls which was quite delightful. Peter O’Toole played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was a great one evidently for spiritualism and quite prepared to believe in fairies. Paul McGann, who I directed at RADA all those years go, and told the staff they underestimated his talent and he would definitely make it big, played the girls’ father.
On another subject completely; two cigarette manufacturers in India ceased production for a couple of days (resulting in millions of rupees lost in tax) when the Indian government wanted new warnings to appear on cigarette packets. This consisted mainly of an extremely ugly photograph of a mouth with cancer caused, it said, by smoking. The manufacturers said they didn’t know how to proceed hence the closing down! Now the government have back-pedalled and decided to leave the status quo for another year. Indians, like Greeks are evidently heavy smokers and it is estimated a million people a year die from the habit but, although the government has brought in a ban on smoking in indoor places, as with Greece it is evidently almost a total flop.