Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Frank (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL4153
[August 1951?]

The White Gates
Dorking

Dear Frank
Herewith Act I & Nocturne for P.P.1
I have decided to omit all German stage directions - it crowds the page so & surely a German producer could find someone to translate for him.
Of course German text and names of characters must remain.
One more word - I do hope it can be produced cheaply & handily - some one once said to me we would like to do "Sir John" instead of Freischutz - but as Sir John cost 30/ & Freischutz cost 3/6 what are we to do?
I have lots of people to try in Ldon
Yrs
R Vaughan Williams


1. Pilgrim's Progress.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
119F
General notes: 

Attached to the letter is a typewritten sheet  'Appendix to Act II' with alternative stage directions, annotated in VW's hand. It reads:
Pilgrim's Progess.
Appendix to Act II.

If the Producer finds difficulty in realizing the Stage Directions given on p.33 to 35 the following is offered as an alternative:

The fight will take place without shadows and without blackout, thus:
Page 33, Bars 4,5,6,7. Apollyon takes four steps towards Pilgrim one step at each bar.
Page 33, Bar 8
. Apollyon grasps Pilgrim by the neck.
Page 33, Bars 9 & 10. Forces Pilgrim back (down stage) taking one step on each "thump" in the bass.
Page 33, Bar 11. Shakes Pilgrim, swaying on double thump, Pilgrim drops sword.
Page 33, Bar 12, Fig.21 & P.34, Bar 1. Pilgrim slowly sinks on one knee, Apollyon above him.
Page 34, Bars 2,3. Hold position ("Surely I have thee now").
Page 34, Bars 4,5. Doleful Creatures rush to surround Pilgrim and Apollyon, with gestures of triumph and mask them.
Page 34, Bars 6 to 9. Dance by Doleful Creatures, emphasising "thumps". Apollyon and PIlgrim exchange positions unseen. Pilgrim regains his sword.
Page 34, Bar 10. Pilgrim sings invisible, masked by Doleful Creatures.
Page 35, Bar 5. Doleful Creatures flee away to either side, revealing Pilgrim standing above prostrate Apollyon. He holds this position until end of Bar 9, Page 35.
Page 35, Bars 15 to 21. Doleful Creatures rush off carrying the body of Apollyon which should be masked by them.

A 3rd method would be to have both fighters on stage (no shadows) with blacks-out and tableaux as in the text.
(neither of these versions should be used except in the case of necessity)
 

Format: 
Letter