Richard Curtis

A Fab Musical

The Hired Man

By Melvyn Bragg

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I cannot deny that I went to The Hired Man armed with prejudices. When I, a mere sapling, left university, I was interviewed for a job at LWT by the writer of the book of the musical, Mr Melvyn Bragg, and he selected me, out of what I believe were literally hundreds of candidates, to receive a letter signed by his secretary saying I was wholly unsuitable for the job and shouldn’t have applied. As for Howard Goodall, the lyricist, composer and musical director of the show, he was a close friend of mine a few years ago, and, it later appeared one gruesome evening, an even closer friend of my then fiancee. So I took my seat at the Astoria in Tottenham Court Road with high hopes of theatrical disappointment, slightly buoyed by the reservations of some other critics.

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