Over the weekend of Feb.14-16, I dined with George at ‘Al Casotto’, in SW5 and attended ‘An Evening of Poetry’, at the King’s Head Theatre Club in Islington, introduced by Jonathan. The three poets reading were: George, Alan Brownjohn and Anthony Thwaite.
I wasn’t invited to join Jonathan and his friends for supper. Jonathan was accompanied by Francesca Greenoak. However, Alan (Brownjohn) bought me a glass of ale, and George gave me a volume of Anthony Thwaite’s poems, so I didn’t feel too excluded.
George, dressed in pale brown suede, and drinking scotch, prattled on about the libretti that he’d written, having been accepted by the Kassel Opera House. Luckily, dear Alan (Munton) had accompanied me to the reading; and we had supper together. Once again, he proved to be a loyal and kind friend. It was a splendid evening, and does credit to Jonathan’s excellent stage-management.
On Monday, Alan and I ltook lunch with Cecil Woolf near the offices of the New Statesman.
Cecil ‘s conversation was witty, crisp and incisive; and he reprimanded me for swearing a couple of times – quite rightly. He spoke admiringly of the writer, Colin Wilson. Charles Harrison, the editor of Studio International, was in the same pub : smoking a large cigar, and wearing a matelot suit with great panache.
During the week, Alan went back to Cambridge; Snoo went up to Leeds for the world premiere of his play, ‘Pignight’.
And I also learned that dear Stevie Smith, whom I had met the year before, was very ill, with a brain tumour, in a hospital in Ashburton, Devon.