22 JUNE 1974, Page 25



Among those who braved the jeers of the demonstrators to fete Victor Hochhauser's and Lord Harewood's guests at the Coliseum for the Bolshoi opening were Anton Dolin, Ava Gardner, Linda Lovelace, Robert Helpmann and Brenda Last and Wayne Eagling of the Royal Ballet. Freedom-lovers all, as we know.

Balletomanes seem not to be notably twee when it comes to putting down interference with their fad, as the heckler in the gallery found out when he was shouted down and shunted out. "If those maniacs start any of their nonsense now." promised one lily-skinned youth slitting his eyes beneath the mascara, "I swear I'll swipe them with my handbag."

Waspe was sad for one photograRher balanced precariously on a bench in the foyer focusing continuously while every member of the audience filed out. (His colleagues were all making the most of Linda Lovelace's exposed breasts.) When everyone had come out without his taking a shot he looked into the empty auditorium. "They said Ava Gardner was here," he bleated pathetically. She was—standing right beside his original perch wearing a black turban. But of course, you will understand, the once glamorous Barefoot Contessa was disguised •— as an older woman.

Party lines

Waspe Was among those present, of course, though incognito, at last week's Spectator party, and although the occasion might justly be described as privileged, I cannot, however, forbear recording the evening's most fetching encounter — the lip-kiss greeting exchanged between one young fellow from the Guardian (dressed in the home-made battle dress which I take to be obligatory at that paper) and another from the New Statesman. Radical chic, I felt, could go no further.


The Royal Opera House, I hear, has known more harmonious orchestral rehearsals than those held under conductor Erich Kleiber for this week's revival of Der Rosenkavalier. There was one especially stormy and protracted session — at which it was feared that the Teutonic perfectionist Would have a stroke — interrupted by the Covent Garden cleaning ladies one of them whistling. "Vat is zat vistling?" demanded Kleiber, immediately suspecting a mutinous bandsman. "If I hear it again. I go back to Germany!"

Enthusiast largely ceased to b o e n learning of the surprised e h assi a o

frivolous recreations and relaxations of the most earnest men. Nevertheless, Waspe can scarcely give credence to the current gossip that that most weighty advocate of serious theatre, dramatist John Osborne, is a regular patron of the Paul Raymond nudie farce, Pyjama Tops.