“The Last Joke”

Ernest Thesiger as Baron Santa Clara

Opera House, Manchester

Birmingham Hippodrome

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

September 19 and 24, 1960

Phoenix Theatre, London

September 28 - November 19, 1960


“The last time he appeared in London we were together on an unsuccessful play, and I met him one day in the street shortly before we began rehearsing and said how glad I was that he had promised to undertake the part. ‘I think it is a splendid play,’ I said, ‘don’t you?’  ‘I’m afraid I don’t,’ Ernest murmured darkly and went his way.  I didn’t dare to ask him why, in that case, he had agreed to accept the engagement, but during the short run he acted with his usual distinction and received quite an ovation from the audience at his entrance on the first night.  But he was tiring fast, and I used to feel sad as I passed his open dressing-room door to see him lying on the sofa half asleep between his scenes.”

John Gielgud, Distinguished Company

With Robert Flemyng, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, Robin Hawdon, and Anna Massey. Plays and Players, November 1960.

With Robin Hawdon