Goodness, how a clear-out turns up bits of paper that bring memories micturating back ...
This was one of the funniest days of my life.
I'll bet the good old Victoria Palace hasn't seen such primping, parading and screeching comedy in all its years. And I went there with the best of intentions.
What happened was ...
Britain was in a state of 'compulsory unionism'. I know, now, that that's the most frightful impingement on personal liberty, but then I wasn't into politics anymore than am I now. If that was the rule, then I followed the rule. And I followed that rule so carefully, that I got elected as Equity Deputy for the Palladium. And as such, I attended the meeting of the so-called West End Deputies Committee, and put myself up for election to the Equity Committee. No one can say I wasn't taking the thing seriously.
Witness, this photo. Look who is there in the 'critic's seats. Row H on the aisle. Gänzl, K with his 20-something-year-old widow's peak, and Normareena Dunbar alongside me.
What a day! I soon gave up attempting to be heard, or wishing to be heard. Normareena and I dissolved in giggles at the Vanity of it all .. Corin Redgrave was the star comedian, how dull and ineffective he was. All the big boys of the Equity Committee held the floor, did their act, preached to the converted, talked about Human Rights in Chile (but what about the lack of showers at the Palladium?) hugged their applause, supported by youpis from various writers of the left-wing press ... had I not seen it, I would not have believed that this sort of thing existed! And we were paying membership fees, out of our L20 per week chorus salary, for this ... wank!
Well, I made it to the front page of the Workers (no apostrophe) Press. Whoever Stephen Johns is/was, I think he wrote his report from the bar. 'Twin Victory for Actors' Basic Rights'? Shriiiiiiiek! It was a fiasco of the vanities.
I resigned as Equity Deputy. If this was what unions were about ... I marched straight to the right and the blessed Margaret, and Normareena (a lifelong red voter) came with me ... and I have remained there ever since. But I have this to remember I WAS ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE WORKERS (no apostrophe) PRESS!