Scapino, Young Vic, 23 January 1974

I started to keep a diary in January 1974.  The 23 January entry is my first record of visiting the theatre, although I went with my parents to see pantomimes and children’s shows before then.

This visit I’m sure was my first school trip to the theatre, an Alleyn’s School outing.  I think just for my class; 1S, probably Ian Sandbrook’s initiative.  It was a revival of the first production at the Young Vic Theatre, which I think therefore makes it the Young Vic’s first production as an independent theatre company.  It seems the revival was a precursor to a glittering US transfer.

All the 11 year old “critic” wrote at the time was:

“Scapino v good indeed.  Jim Dale good.  Got to bed very late.”

Yet the evening stays quite clearly in my memory.  I remember liking the patter song about Italian food and I also recall catching a plastic facsimile of a glass of wine and keeping it in a bottom drawer for years and years.  It survived many clear outs, but I think it came a cropper in the end.  Who knows, it might turn up in one of my junk boxes some day.

This Michael Billington piece about that production and the early days of the independent Young Vic is charming, click here.

This archive review from the Columbia Daily Spectator was written only a couple of months after our visit.  The late great Ian Charleson gets an honourable mention in this piece.


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