It is not a popular theme. It has some excellent comic lines but no real comic relief, and remains as serious basically as the Old Testament original. It would need great playing in any case, but to be a success probably needs spectacular casting.
As to specific suggestions, I have a few, confined to the last scene. Olga, the servant, seems to be a Hollywood cushion, and completely out of place in a play that is saying anything really drastic. Also there should be something for Vera to do when she returns. The left-over champagne is in the same category as Olga. Personally I wouldn't touch it at such a time. The surgeon should not again attempt a speech--certainly should not read from the lush Nelson letter. Whatever is said by the others should be sparse and real and indicate that what they have found in torture and loss is not great wisdom but only the realization that life had spoiled them--that all men must bear torture and loss and yet keep on--and that they can do it, too, now that they must.
141 Downes Avenue
January 8, 1956
Dear Brooks-- 1
(Which seems much less formal than Van Wyck) Maybe we will meet oftener than we used for I've bought a house at the above address and left New City behind me. Your letter followed me and came here yesterday. I will of course write a tribute for Sherwood, whom I miss more than I'll say--and you won't mind if I use part of the words I wrote to be read by Lunt at the funeral. And I'll read them myself, since I expect to be there. 2