I am grateful to Martin Chown, the organiser of the London Group seminars for the Trollope Society, who kindly sent me a copy of his message of thanks to Craig Baxter, who wrote the play based on Trollope’s novel, for his presentation last week to the London group about the play. I thought those who could not be there might like to hear a little more about the seminar and so I reproduce Martin’s note below.
“Many thanks, Craig and Lucia for Wednesday’s terrific seminar about the dramatisation of Lady Anna.
“Craig, you acknowledged Michael Williamson and Pamela Barrell who were instrumental in initiating the project, with many useful ideas to contribute, and both really wanted to come. As it turned out, circumstances made this impossible and they sent their apologies.
“Almost everyone at the seminar had seen the play, and it is a tribute to how fascinating we found it that so many people wanted to hear more about it, some from great distances. I think we would all have realised that your dramatizing of the play involved a great depth, far beyond basing it on the novel’s narrative. However, your account of the various problems and issues to be addressed, with so much reference to other sources than the novel itself., was most revealing and impressive.
“So, we are grateful not only for the wonderful play you created, but now for the care and thought to give a clear narrative of the process, and some of the challenges to be overcome. You wondered whether the Trollope Society members would consider that the play had been true to the spirit of the work, and also whether we thought you had put across a recognisable portrayal of the author himself. I think the enthusiastic response of everyone there must have reassured you!
“Lucia, we appreciated too your introduction and the readings – you two had clearly worked together in advance to make an excellent presentation.
“Thank you, also, Marianne, for coming along and giving us your perspective from the production side. As you have recently moved to England from Uruguay, I hope that all works out well for you here. Good hear that you and Craig are working towards putting this play on tour, and we wish you well with that!”