9 AUGUST 1975, Page 5

Clarence Darrow

Sir: As an American, I find it good that such an essentially American entertainment as Darrow is warmly received in London, but Peter Cotes errs on three points in his comments on it (Spectator, July 26).

First, he cannot have seen the original Broadway production of Inherit the Wind, in which the late Paul Muni and Ed Begley brought Darrow and Bryan to life with much more than -telling effect". Second, Darrow is hardly unique as a one-man show that is also a good play — one need only recall Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain, or Will Rogers, Jr., as his father, or, more recently, James Whitmore as Harry S. Truman. These were scarcely deficient in the script department. Finally, to refer to Bryan, the vice-presidential candidate in 1896 and a crusader for a return to the silver standard (". . . you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"), as a -fundamentalist lay preacher' is to do him less than full justice.

It is interesting, too, to note that the Scopes trial helped make a name for another American — H. L. Mencken, who covered it as a young reporter out of Baltimore.

Susan H. Llewellyn 41 Terenure Road West, Dublin 6, Eire