Thursday, 21 July 2011

Nijinsky and Diaghilev

How exciting: A new play about Nijinsky and Diaghilev called Rattigan’s Nijinsky. Rattigan is said to have described the dancer and impresario as "the two most famous lovers since Romeo and Juliet”. According to the piece in yesterday's Indie, Rattigan was blackmailed by Nijinsky's widow, Romala Nikinsky, into withdrawing a screenplay commissioned by the BBC in 1974 and Nicholas Wright’s new play explores this. Journalist Paul Taylor wonders why Rattigan, who had never written openly about gay male relationships before, decided he would write about Nijinsky and Diaghilev when Romala was still alive, adding (in brackets) that “(since her husband's death, Romola had somehow managed to become both intensely homophobic and a practising lesbian)”. I wonder if Rattigan knew that (it’s not that uncommon an occurrence) and, if so, exactly what it was that he knew about her and how she would react to his script?

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