Orson Welles. Typed Letter SIGNED with a doodle. on Hotel Esplanade stationery, 4to, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, undated but ca.1960.
Welles plans to produce two unknown plays but feels overlooked by reviews of Ionesco's "Rhinoceros." Welles ends this exceptional letter with a doodle. To Leonard Lyons, the New York Post critic, and long time friend. “Dearest Lennie, Here’s our news: Paola, Beatrice and Rebecca are in the Austrian Alps. As soon as I’m done with this dreadful picture we’re joining up for a few weeks in Spain. We’ll be following Ordonez [bull fighter], which means the south for the first ten days of September. I was in Valencia for the feria and for a few more of Antonio’s dates after that…After Spain--? Probably London. Somebody sent me a really good play from America called ‘The Guide’, and I expect to be producing it in London either before or just after the pantomime season… Also, there’s a play of my own called ‘Brittle Glory’. If I can cast it right, I’ll be doing that, too. For the past few months I’ve been in a light but lingering sulk over your repeated references to ‘Olivier’s ‘Rhinoceros’. (no mention of yr. obt. servt.) Well, now you can fix all that: Kerz has offered me the job of directing his N.Y. production, and in mentioning that I’ve turned it down you can right a great wrong, and finally associate me with this play!" He signs in bold black ink, “Orson,” and doodles a star and circle, perhaps to reinforce the exclamation point of his final sentence. Condition: slight chipping at top right margin.
At this time of his life, Welles had returned to Europe to live and work. He refers to Eugene Ionesco’s important play, “Rhinoceros” starring Lawrence Olivier, with whom he did not get along. Welles staged and designed the play performed in London in 1960 and apparently wanted to be noticed for his efforts. The play moved to the Strand after opening at London's Royal Court Theater. References to other plays especially his never produced title make this an exceptional letter.