Friday, September 05, 2008

Cardboard cut out

Kenneth Tynan was the greatest theatre critic this country, and probably the world, has ever produced.

Evidence? Try this, from November 1956: -

Mr Coward's career can be divided into three periods. The first began in the 1920s: it introduced his revolutionary technique of "persiflage", the pasting of thin strips of banter onto cardboard. In the early 1930s, we encounter his second or "Kiplingesque" period, in which he obtained startling effects by the method now known as "Kipling" - the pasting of patriotic posters on to strips of banter pasted on cardboard. (The masterpieces of this period, Cavalcade and In Which We Serve, have been lost. The damp got at the cardboard.)

In the third and final phase, a new hand is discernible. Is it Mr Coward's? An American student of the last three "Coward" plays has declared that they must have been written by Rip Van Winkle. The new work, on the other hand, with its jocular references to at least 30 place names, both homely and exotic, tends to support the theory that the new crypto-Coward is in reality a departures announcer at London airport

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