5 JULY 1975, Page 13

Will Waspe

The Prospect Theatre Company, the touring group most usually associated with classical revivals, are breaking new ground this season with a musical called Pilgrim which is adapted from Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and is to feature Paul Jones, Paul Nicholas and Peter Straker, all of whom may be bettlr known in the rock and pop worlds then on Prospect's regular drama circuit. The production opens in Birmingham this month and will turn up for three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival at the end of August. The venture sounds unlikely, but no more so than Jesus Christ Superstar and I wish it well. What I find intriguing is that Pilgrim was actually commissioned by Prospect from the librettist Jane McCulloch and composer Carl Davis. In these precarious times, and in view of the intended scale of the show, this was reposing remarkable confidence in the collaborators, especially in former actress, model, journalist and publisher's agent Miss McCulloch, whose previous work in this genre is not Widely known. She is, by the way, the wife of Mr Toby Robertson, the director of Prospect.


There is talk that the Royal Shakespeare Company have invited David Niven to play the

title role in Raffles, Graham Greene's play from the Hornung stories that the RSC are putting on at the Aldwych at Christmas. I don't know whether Niven is keen on stage acting, but on the face of it the casting looks promising, and what with James Stewart at the Prince of Wales and Henry Fonda coming shortly 07) the Piccadilly, the London theatre is becoming quite a haven for veteran Hollywood actors.

'Bye to Bloomsbury

I have a feeling there will soon be news about the siting of the British Library on which work is due to start in 1978 or 1998 or thereabouts. Lord Eccles's British Library Board has always recommended that the Library be built adjacent to the British Museum in Bloomsbury, which would mean knocking a few old buildings down but would make life easier for the dozen or so scholars who need to commute between the Library and the Museum. Others, including environmentalists and inhabitants of Bloomsbury, think that the Library should be built on a derelict site next to St Pancras Station. I predict that within the next few weeks the British Library Board will stage a gentlemanly and overdue climb-down, and that St Pancras will prevail.

Housewives' choice

The disappearance of afternoon serials from ITV schedules may not be bothering you, but it is certainly bothering advertisers. Heavy agency pressure is, I hear, being brought to bear, and the soap operas will soon be back.