Monday 21 January 2019


"None of our English girls can play Cleopatra".
Kenneth Tynan.

I often think of this remark in Romania because most Romanian women, given acting lessons, could play her. It seems this remark hurt Vivienne Leigh very much and almost drove her to a nervous breakdown.

"Adam saw perfectly clearly that his wife had been deceived and that the serpent had lured her into a trap from which she could not now escape. She will have to die, he thought, and God will offer to create a new companion for me, either from another of my ribs or from some other source. But I do not want a new companion. I want this one and only this one. There is but a but a single way I can remain with her, and that is by conjoining my fate to hers. We will live - and when the times comes, we will rot - together."

Duns Scotus, a very romantic thought for a such a dry writer.

"Attributes that were ostensibly Irish are now British and vice versa. Take religion as an example. The British are now more religious than are the Irish. Religious schools, denominational in ethos, are hugely valued and very prestigious there. Here the Government is doing its best to remove all traces of religion from education and increasingly there are attempts to remove denominational education from Catholic schools.

"Members of parliament, even the prime minister, have no difficulty extending thoughts and prayers to the people when national tragedies occur. In Ireland, when similar situations arise, the "p" word is omitted lest it be interpreted as a sign of Catholic Church interference in the affairs of State.

"And the Queen's Christmas Day message speaks of the birth of Jesus, while in Ireland the President's message is bland and secular and could be delivered at a horse show."

Patricia Casey, on Saturday in the Irish Independent.


  1. David In Belgrade21 January 2019 at 16:28

    "None of our English girls can play Cleopatra".

    Elisabeth Taylor came to mind but although she was born in London her parents were Americans. The family moved to Los Angeles when she was six or seven years old.

    I think that most Romanian girls would not need the acting lessons :).

  2. Vivienne Leigh very much and almost drove her to a nervous breakdown.

    As I understand it, she was ALREADY rather ahem... prone to nervous breakdowns...

  3. If the Catholic Church had done a rather more ahem...upstanding job in its stewardship of young people...maybe the Irish would not be prying their hands off education. It looks like a pretty unanimous, widely supported decision.

  4. The best screen Cleopatra was Claudette Colbert. So American girls were quite capable of playing the rôle.