chapter  3
44 Pages


Every night in the autumn of 1953, from Monday to Saturday, the actress, Deborah Kerr, who was appearing in Robert Anderson’s Tea and Sympathy, would stand on the stage of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York, wearing a well-worn look of suffering. Every night she would be told that a woman simply did not know what a man always knew. ‘All right,’ her irritated stage husband, a housemaster and queer-stalking former athlete, would berate her. ‘So a woman doesn’t notice these things. But a man knows a queer when he sees one’ (1.46). There was no missing the sense of panic in his accusation, a panic related to the theatre from the world beyond the stage.