Only a library in Calgary had what I was searching for: an earlier adaptation of Return of the Soldier, moreover by the illustrious playwright John van Druten. He wrote I am a Camera, which morphed into Cabaret. His version is in 1928 and I’m fascinated by his struggle to fit the novel into a unified space and time – keep it all within one room over two days. He resorts to gimmicks like tripping over umbrellas and then losing them to be able to introduce characters – rather lame, doncha think, Johnny old boy? I’ve got so much more freedom because we audience are trained to jump around from France to England and have no problem accepting several different time zones inhabiting the stage – especially in opera.

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