for the part were Robert Morley, English playwright and actor; Lee J. Cobb, American
who recently had played Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman; Edmund Gwenn,
American who had an extensive career on Broadway and in Hollywood; and the
English actors Felix Aylmer and Cecil Parker.
A business arrangement within the Playwrights' Company.
Edward Caulfield The Idea, tried out by the Playwrights' Company in Boston
on February 12, 1952, was not brought to New York. Caulfield produced no further
plays, but three earlier plays had received short New York productions: There's Always
A Breeze ( 1938), And Be My Love ( 1945), and Bruno and Sidney ( 1949).
Adam, Lilith and Eve, written with Rex Harrison and his wife Lilli Palmer in
mind for the leads, was not produced because the Harrisons eventually wished more
changes in it than Anderson was willing to make. For the play, unpublished, see Catalogue, pp. 62-63.
177. TO BROOKS ATKINSON
November 3, 1951
I think you ought to come back and see Barefoot in Athens again
before you write your second opinion. As you know, many things can
go wrong on a first night, and some can never be corrected but some
can. For one example, Socrates is not supposed to break down in the
trial scene. The line written for him is "You lie!", and it's supposed to
be cried out in anger, not in grief. On the opening night Mr. Jones
surprised us, and himself, by weeping on that line. He had not done it
before, has not done it again. But it sounded like an admission of guilt
and altered the whole meaning of the play for that one evening. I
wouldn't want you to change a line out of kindness, but I'm inclined
to think we didn't get quite a fair trial at the opening. In fact, not fair
at all, for there were many casual but damaging errors. If you want to
come again, let Bill Fields know and he will leave tickets for you.
Atkinson's opening-night review of Barefoot in Athens had condemned
the play as "highminded and pedestrian, sincere and perfunctory," and had even
indulged in sarcasm, unusual for Atkinson, by concluding that the play was "not only
barefoot but heavyfooted and slow" ( New York Times, November 1, 1951, p. 35, cols.