This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1988 scriptwriters of US soap operas went on strike, holding a gun to the heads of Dallas, Dynasty and other series. The bad news is that they went back to work.

Tomorrow In 1932, Pu Yi, the real life hero of the glossy movie The Last Emperor, was installed as provincial dictator of second division puppet state Manchukuo. A relegation for an Emperor who had sat on the Chinese throne aged two.

Wednesday High Tor, starring Bing Crosby and Julie Andrews, the first full-length feature film made for TV, was networked in the US in 1956.

Thursday After the death of her companion Lytton Strachey, the artist Dora Carrington died in 1932 from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, not knowing that she would be reincarnated as Emma Thompson in the excellent Carrington scripted by Christopher Hampton.

Friday Mervyn Peake's only stage play, The Wito to Woo, went down like dry rot in Gormenghast Castle. Fortunately he did not give up his day job of writing the Titus Groan novel trilogy, later dramatised on Radio 4 with Sting as chief villain.

Saturday Showing at a Paris music hall in 1894, Yvette Goes to Bed was the title of the first striptease on stage; subsequent artistic turns showed a young lady undressing for the doctor, for the bath, to keep cool and to uncover a flea about her person.

Sunday 14-year-old William Betty played the part of Hamlet so wonderfully that the Commons adjourned to allow honourable members to watch the performance, although the precocious prince was later hissed off the stage. Back in 1885, the words "Gilbert and" were followed not by "George" but by "Sullivan"; The Mikado had its first night at the Savoy Theatre.

Jonathan Sale

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