7 OCTOBER 1972, Page 25

Will Waspe

My congratulations to the Sunday Times' drama critic, Harold Hobson, for his neat feat in writing a 1,200-word feature piece last Sunday, benignly chiding dramatists who can't take criticism, and saying how well and how gratefully he takes it himself (doubtless because he has so much practice), without even hinting at the name of the man who clearly inspired his pen.

This, of course, was our old friend, Arnold 'Wailing' Wesker, who last week launched a peevish attack on Hobson, whose judgement on the ' message ' in his recent play, The Old Ones, was that it was " mumbled by the most gloom-inducing lot of bores seen on the stage since the purgatory of Pyjama Tops." No one would deny Wesker's right to wash his reviews in public. What, I imagine, stuck in most craws was his announcement that he was donating the original draft of his threepage open letter' to Oxfam for auction. We all know you do good, Arnie baby, but you sure could use a little stealth.


Bernard Delfont's decision to name his new theatre (built on the site of the old Winter Garden) the New London, has given Wyndham Theatres Ltd, the excuse for which they have long been waiting to change the name of the New Theatre in St Martin's Lane to Albery's Theatre. Their motive is to pay proper tribute to the memory of the late Sir Bronson Albery. You would be unkind to think of it as a display of family self-advertisement just because the present chairman and managing director of Wyndham Theatres is Mr Donald , Albery, the assistant managing director is Mr Ian Albery, and the executive director is Mr C. M. H. Albery.

Out of touch

BBC1's new monthly programme, Omnibus File, begins this Sunday by, as it were, missing the omnibus. Its main item is a visit to the tactile Liquid Theatre by Frank Muir — and Liquid Theatre, which opened to such noisy fanfares in London only a couple of months ago, closed so quietly last week that hardly anyone noticed.

Last straw

I have been pondering the hasty and huffy departure from London of the Zaire foreign minister, Mr Nguza Karl l'Bond, who flew in on Sunday and out again on Monday, evidently profoundly glum about the accommodation booked for him at the Carlton Tower by Sir Alec Douglas-Home's department. His reaction, on the face of it, was extreme. Can there have been other, aggravating factors? Can we entirely ignore the fact that Sir Alec, in a burst of fraternal feeling, had also booked the Zaire visitors to see his brother's play, Lloyd George Knew My Father, on Monday?