Entertainment + Leisure | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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The Bright Lights of London's Theatreland at Shaftesbury Avenue and Piccadilly.
A bus at Piccadilly Circus, illuminated signs for Bovril, Odeon and a clock. Shot of illuminated sign outside the Apollo Theatre for Duel of Angels with Vivien Leigh, Claire Bloom and Freda Jackson. Sign for Margaret Leighton in a play by Terence Rattigan. Sign for the Saville Theatre. Sign for the Coliseum with spinning globe. Exterior of the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
An American couple sit down and join a young woman who is reading to wait for seats in the gallery at the Old Vic theatre. They chat. The couple are from California. She tells them that her name is Pauline Devaney and that she is an out of work actress, studying for an audition at Richmond Repertory. The man asks her how she became an actress and she says she wrote to RADA. They stand up as the queue starts to move and walk past a sign reading Gallery .
Close up of cover of a theatre programme for Twelfth Night, the Old Vic Company.
A short clip of a scene from the play (from television?). Pauline and the American couple sit talking again. The curtain opens at the Players Theatre to reveal a woman singing in a music hall act. A man dressed in evening clothes and white gloves sits at a candlelit table, supposedly watching the performance. The woman on stage strikes up "My Old Man Said Follow the Van" as she swishes her skirts, and the audience joins in. Pauline and the American couple sit at a table with others, singing along, there are glasses and empty bottles on the table. Various audience clips, including a man drinking a pint of beer.
People wait at the counter of a ticket agency for theatre tickets. Programme for the Old Vic, listing performances from Monday 12th May to Saturday 5th July, including Henry VIII, Twelfth Night and Hamlet. Covers of the plays Henry V and Romeo and Juliet.
John Gielgud plays Hamlet (a clip lifted from 'A Diary For Timothy'). Pauline and the American couple supposedly watch the performance. Harold Hobson the theatre critic sits in the Caprice restaurant with the American couple, the woman is wearing a fur coat. They ask him questions about new playwrights and actors. He talks about John Osborne.
John Fernald, a theatre director and director of RADA, lists some of RADA's most famous graduates including Celia Johnson, Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh. He is interviewed in his office by the American couple. There is a bust of George Bernard Shaw in the office.
The American couple sit at a café table on the pavement. They are served coffee by Pauline, who is "resting" between jobs. View of Glyndebourne. People in evening dress walk in the grounds. The musicians play croquet. Carl Ebert coaches one of the opera singers, she sits at a table on the set. He speaks in Italian and English. Other people watch. The two female singers sing. They sing the same song in costume. Pauline and the American couple are in the audience, in evening dress.
Exterior of Richmond Theatre on Richmond Green, Surrey, cars drive past. Pauline goes into a door marked Richmond Theatre Stage Door, her friends cross their fingers for her audition. In the foyer they talk to Alan Miles, the general manager. He talks in front of a board with the admission prices printed on it. The couple ask if they can go and watch their friend audition. They go into the theatre, where Pauline is auditioning on the stage, she speaks her lines and curtsies. The director is watching from the stalls and thanks her, he puts his glasses on. Poster for Osborne's Look Back in Anger at Richmond, with Pauline Devaney's name on it along with Frederick Jaeger, Hazel Penwarden, Michael Atkinson and Alan Rolfe.
London lights, illuminated advertisement for Schweppes Tonic Water. A policeman directs London traffic. A taxi pulls up outside a building and the American couple get out. They go through revolving doors. They enter a living room with a sofa and floor lamp and sit down. The telephone rings, the woman answers and says of course they will be ready for their next topic.
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