|Angela Lansbury: Me as Art Deco|
Lansbury projects elegant goofiness for fans of the Art Deco period; and I'm confident that her Madame Arcati (in last year's staging of Blithe Spirit) pleased fans of TV whodunits. But there's the problem: elegance. Only that scrumptious, asymmetrical gargoyle Dame Margaret Rutherford captured the essential wilful otherliness of me in the black & white movies: Arcati is not just some harmless fruitcake with fidgety mannerisms but an ideological warrior of the drawing room who happens to summon up spirits.
She is the timeless crank always proven right. Julian Assange, please take note.
I realise that such ideas are traumatic to diddumsy secular critics who take their scripture from sexy tabloid traditionalist Dr Brian Cox. So as New Year looms I'll move on as an act of charity.
|Margaret Rutherford: Me me me|
Also, Madame Arcati has no business being tall. This is where Penelope Keith went wrong when I saw her play me at the Savoy Theatre a few years back. I've always regarded tallness as faintly ridiculous and excess to requirements, such as in British Prime Ministers. Only haberdashery shop assistants need to be tall. Madame Arcati does not do excess.
At the Savoy I sat behind Nicky Haslam who wore a thick fur coat throughout the performance even though the theatre was properly heated. From the wafting odour I adjudged that his coat required laundering. But I was too polite to say.