The disappearance of John Osborne's new play, Watch It Come Down, from this year's National Theatre schedules (it was announced last November) should not be taken to mean that the old rift, healed following the departure from the National of Kenneth Tynan, has reopened. I am told it is probably only postponed, though Fabers (who publish the play this month) may be premature in announcing its production for the autumn.
-Further to my paragraph last week on Sotheby's and Christie's very greedy imposition of a 10 per cent buying premium in their auctions, I learn that the London Society of Art Dealers are holding an extraordinary general meeting to formulate their battle plans to combat the naughty auctioneers. The gathering is
scheduled for Monday, September 22 at 4 pm in the comfortable and salubrious surroundings of Quaglino's. The choice of venue is particularly appropriate. Many of the Bond Street boys are of a nervous disposition and as the meeting could be a lengthy affair it is to be hoped that the opening of the bar at 5.30 will provide an agreeable method of injecting a little Dutch courage into the proceedings.
Mr Harold Wilson in the forthcoming reshuffle is confidently expected to replace the frolicsome Mr Hugh Jenkins as Minister for the Arts on the justifiable grounds of proven unsuitability and incompetence. Conveniently enough for the Prime Minister, Mrs Renee Short has recently made it known that she herself would be an excellent choice for the post and has published a document entitled, The Arts — A Discussion Document for the Labour Movement. It is supposed to cost 20p at Transport House but on the day I called, an honest party worker refused any payment since it would be dishonest to charge for something which "wasn't worth the paper it was printed on".