[ John van Druten, playwright ] Substantial Typed Letter Signed John van Druten to W. Macqueen-Pope, theatre historian.

John van Druten [John William Van Druten (1901–1957), playwright and theatre director.]
Publication details: 
A.J.C. Ranch, THERMAL, California, 13 April 1953.
SKU: 23134

One page, sm. folio (A4), good condition, one correction in MS. He praises Macqueen-Pope's output fulsomely, and wonders if his publishers sent him his own small book on Play-writing, Just in case he is sending another copy. It seems likely now that I am to come over to London this autumn to direct the production of Rodgers and Hamerstein's THE KING AND I. I did that job in New York, where it is still running to packed houses after two years - and despite the tragic death of Gertrude Lawrence who created the 'I' role. | I am never very eager to re-create a job once performed, but [... playing at Drury Lane makes it different and special. The female role is to be played by Valerie Hobson. [...] I have heard that there is some feeling of surprise in London at her having been cats in it. I can only say that she auditioned for Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Hammerstein, and that they were delighted with her stage quality, as well as with her singing. And they are men who know their theatre superbly. Gertie, despite all her rare and wonderful stellar qualities, was actually never at her best in the show. She was, it is true, more restrained in her performance than I had ever known her - but her voice was not up to the score, and the part was a little held down and restrained for her. [...