Neil Simon

Goodbye, Neil Simon

Writers fade from fashion, nowhere more than in the field of playwriting. Neil Simon was one of the first playwrights I read from the printed page because the wonderful Samuel French bookshop, late of Fitzrovia and Covent Garden, stocked their own editions of play scripts (and still do, here). Simon delighted in putting his characters […]

How We Sound (And Why It’s Funny)

A good actor can make an ordinary line sound better than it reads. Years ago, I worked with Kenneth Williams, who kindly sat with me for a while to discuss how to get the best out of words. He was meticulous about the crafting of sentences and where to place intonations, but it clearly came […]