2 FEBRUARY 1974, Page 19

W i l l


Joan Littlewood of Theatre Workshop has her begging bowl out again, I see asking a whopping E110,000 hand-out from the Arts Council for the next financial year in order to stay at the ramshackle Theatre Royal, Stratford-atte-Bow. Naturally her plea has received thp widest possible coverage in the press, which has been eating out of Joan's hand these past twenty years. The poverty stricken Fringe groups who have largely supplanted her in trendy fashion are unlikely, however, to be among the cheerleaders as they grovel for a few paltry hundreds. Nor, suspects Waspe, will many of the citizens of the Workshop's 'East End catchment area.' Joan's appeal was never much down there it was the trendy West End that took her to its heart, beret, bad language and all, as she must often have reflected sadly on her way to the bank.

Theatre wrangle

The sex comedy, dudies, has not altogether resulted in a siege of the box office at the Comedy Theatre although precisely how thin business has been is a matter of dispute between impresario Michael White, who wants to stay, and the theatre owners who want the play to make room for something else. Legal wrangles proceed. However they turn out, stars John Alderton and Pauline Collins will not be unduly bothered. They're booked for a nice new TV comedy series, No Honestly! for London Weekend.

Television switch

Speaking of LWT, they've snatched programme director Brian Tesler from Thames, and he'll be second man to John Freeman on the board. He may soon, indeed, be top man, for Freeman, pushing sixty, grows daily less eager for the fray.