Rehearsals had proved stubborn that morning.
The lines of The Public Eye were taking some mastering, and when break for refreshments came at the talismanic hour of eleven the company was more than ready for a cuppa.
"It's always something of a strain until the dialogue flows easily," Alan Howard remarked as he selected one of the few remaining vacant tables in a corner of the theatre lounge.
He settled back into a comfortable position, drew at a freshly lighted cigarette and added reflectively, "Yes, get that part of it over, and we can start to enjoy the production."
Alan, who is a nephew of the late Leslie Howard and a great nephew of Fay Compton and Sir Compton Mackenzie, outlined aspects of his theatrical career as we chatted over our coffee, describing the two-and-a-half years in stage management at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre, his admiration of the works of Arnold Wesker, and of the man himself, and Alan's own roles in the Royal Court's presentation of The Wesker Trilogy, Chicken Soup With Barley, Roots and I'm Talking About Jerusalem.
Although Alan is essentially a stage actor he has appeared on television and he was also in the film Victim. What leisure time he has at his disposal is devoted to the writing of short stories and poetry.
"I get a great deal of satisfaction from composing verse," Alan told me in his characteristically modest way, "although I must say, I write only for my own pleasure."
The Worthing Herald, 1.11.1963.
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