|Glenda Jackson and EP in Strange Interlude|
O’Neill’s experimental and controversial nine-act play was first produced on Broadway by the Theatre Guild in 1928 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It created such a stir that its famous soliloquy technique (characters speaking aloud their inner thoughts) featured as a running joke in the Marx Brothers’ film Animal Crackers in 1930.
A Hollywood adaptation of Strange Interlude was released by MGM in 1932, starring Clark Gable and Norma Shearer. We reprised our production for television in 1988, which, apart from Glenda and me, had a different cast and a very different set from the clapboard and clouds of the stage version.
Strangely enough, with the Strange Interlude anniversary in my thoughts, the weekend before last at the National Theatre I ran into Brian Cox (our Dr Ned Darrell) and his son Alan who, as a youngster, made his West End debut in Strange Interlude, playing the boy unwittingly at the centre of so much subterfuge and angst in the drama. They gave me a lift home and we chatted over coffee in Regent’s Park Road where Alan snapped this picture of Charlie Marsden and Ned Darrell thirty years on.
|EP and Brian Cox, April 2015|
Photo by Alan Cox
Alan, himself a veteran of the Brits off Broadway festival, is currently appearing at the Arts Theatre in The Kingmaker, whilst Cox Snr is to appear with Bill Paterson in Waiting for Godot in the autumn as part of the 50th anniversary season of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre. And exactly a month from today, I will be arriving in Manhattan in preparation for the first night of My Perfect Mind at 59E59.