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I Once Kissed Vivien Leigh by Trader Faulkner

Regulars | By Trader Faulkner | October 2017


It was Sydney in 1948. I was a twenty-year-old Australian actor, appearing in the crowd scenes in Richard III at the Tivoli Theatre. Mario, a bolshie stagehand, was refusing to help with a scene change. I watched as Larry and Vivien appeared for rehearsals.

  It was Sydney in 1948. I was a twenty-year-old Australian actor, appearing in the crowd scenes in Richard III at the Tivoli Theatre. Mario, a bolshie stagehand, was refusing to help with a scene change. I watched as Larry and Vivien appeared for rehearsals. Olivier walked over to Mario and, in an Aussie accent, called up to him, where he was standing at the top of a ladder. ‘Mario, I’m your new boss, Larry, and I’ve got a problem with the quick scene change. It needs spot-on precision. Could an Aussie help me?’ Silence from Mario. In a high-pitched voice, full of sex appeal, Vivien said, ‘Would you help Scarlett O’Hara in distress, dear Mario?’ An acrobat couldn’t have climbed down that ladder quicker: ‘Oh, Lady Olivier!’ ‘Please, Mario, could we go to a pub and sort this problem out over a schooner of good Aussie lager?’ Mario...

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