['The same procedure, Miss Sophie?' Lauri Wylie, actor and author of the play ‘Dinner for One’.] Typed Letter Signed (‘Lauri.’) to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, within weeks of his death, regarding the formiing of a limited company.

Lauri Wylie [Maurice Laurence Samuelson Metzenberg] (1880-1951), British actor and author, whose 1934 play ‘Dinner for One’ has had a significant cultural impact in Germany [W. J. Macqueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
12 April 1951. 8 Grand Avenue, West Worthing [Sussex].
SKU: 24184

A poignant document, showing Wylie, within weeks of his death on 29 June 1951, full of energy regarding a (possibly fraudulent) scheme. The comedian Freddie Frinton had acquired the rights to Wylie’s two-hander ‘Dinner for One’ after the second world war, and Frinton was seen performing it with May Warden in Blackpool in 1962 by a German television compere and his director. They arranged to have Frinton and Wardle perform it live on German television the following year (Frinton insisted it be presented in English), and it has since become a New Year tradition in Germany and neighbouring countries, while remaining virtually unknown in its country of origin. For more information see Frinton entry in the Oxford DNB. For information on Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), see his entry in the same work. 1p, 4to. Nineteen lines of text. Headed, with underlining in red, ‘PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.’ He begins by explaining that he has ‘given up the flat at Courtenay Wowers, Hove’. Macqueen-Pope ‘threatened to send’ a copy of his book ‘The Melodies Linger On’, and he would be glad to receive it. He now turns to (fraudulent?) business matters: ‘Lauri Wylie Copyrights Ltd is now nearly complete - private shares of course - and there is, I believe only another £100 to get in. So if you can now do this - or part of it I’ll be glad to have you in. Eric Maschwitz is a director as is A. E. Fournier and myself and Jack Payne is taking a good batch. Also a solicitor friend in Hove who is connected with theatrical things in town.’ Wylie thinks ‘it is going to be a big thing as there is a tremendous amount of play, musical and revue material concerned’. He ends by asking if Macqueen-Pope ‘can do anything now with my book. It is still lying there.’