(Brook’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/16.)
Denis Cannan was a precious lifelong friend. For many years we could find one another only through the telephone. His voice always carried the same alert humorous observation of life, even as he went tooting through the streets of Hove in his invalid chair, delighted by the reactions he could arouse. An endless reader, full of the classics, he was always sharp and ironic. Captain Carvallo burst on the London scene like a sparkling fountain in a grey desert of stagnant theatre. It was Laurence Oliver who launched him, and Denis and I collaborated on translations, adaptations and on the scenario of The Beggar's Opera. But like his contemporary John Whiting, his urge to write was stifled by the lack of appreciation by much of the press for these new and unclassifiable voices. He was angry about everything but always with relish, delighting in his biting humour.