(Tim Walker’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 10/21.)

It isn’t only policemen, but also Chelsea Pensioners who look young to me these days. Even more worryingly, scenes I recall from my early life – cluttered offices full of typewriters, smokers, copies of the Daily Express and political incorrectness – are now presented as “period” drama on stage.

Bill Maitland, the central character in John Osborne’s semi-autobiographical Inadmissible Evidence, seems all too well aware that he’s a dinosaur on the brink of extinction in Sixties Britain. Whenever the old hack lawyer is in his chambers and takes a swig from his bottle of whisky, humiliates his underlings or pinches his secretary’s pert posterior, he knows it could be the last time that he enjoys the privilege.


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