[Denis Johnston's play on Jonathan Swift: 'new version' by his son Rory Johnston.] Typescript of 'The Dreaming Dust | by Denis Johnston | a new version | compiled and adapted by Rory Johnston'. With covering letter to Christopher Fry.

Denis Johnston (1901-1984), Irish playwright, author and actor; his son Rory Johnston [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama; Jonathan Swift]
Publication details: 
Typescript play sent by Rory Johnston, 49 Upper Park Road, London NW3. Dated 31 December 1987. 'Copyright 1959, 1977 by Denis Johnston'. Rory Johnston's letter to Fry: 3 May 1988, from same address.
SKU: 22908

A multi-talented figure, Denis Johnston was a protégé of W. B. Yeats and Bernard Shaw, and had a stormy friendship with Seán O'Casey. Jonathan Swift was a preoccupation of Johnston's (see his 1959 book 'In Search of Swift'), and his play about him, 'The Dreaming Dust', was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in 1940. It was published in collections of Johnston's plays in 1954, 1960, 1977 and 1983. This 1988 version remains unpublished. Both typescript and letter in fair condition, lightly aged. In envelope with Rory Johnston's address label, addressed to 'Mr Christopher Fry | The Toft | East Dean | Chichester | W. Sussex'. LETTER: Typed Letter Signed ('Rory') from Rory Johnston to Fry, 3 May 1988. 1p, 4to. At Fry's suggestion he is sending him 'a copy of my initial rough cut of an adaptation of my father's Swift play, for you to compare with his last version a copy of which I sent you last year'. He asks him to bear in mind that what he has done 'is highly tentative: a sort of feasibility study, based primarily on the premise that the Seven Deadly Sins in DJ's version have got to go. I have added quite a lot of material from earlier versions of DJ's, and also some of Swift's own writing, to flesh out the picture of him. None of what I have done is fixed, and features like the use of narrators can easily be changed without upsetting me!' He explains that he has 'followed some involved reasoning processes in coming up with this script', which he can explain in detail. He can also show Fry 'my father's other versions - there are nine of them - copies of most of which I have'. He looks forward to meeting Fry to discuss the 'project', and ends: 'I continue to find it very exciting, as did many of the people who came to our reading in January.' TYPESCRIPT: 74pp, together with title-page and final page carrying 'DJ's preface' (printed introduction to a collection of plays, titled 'Period Piece' and dated January 1979. Stapled. Each page on a separate sheet of paper, with blank reverse. Duplicated typescript, made up of print out from electric typewriter or computer, together with passages from the 1979 printing of the play.