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Acting in exile

Sarah Caudwell talks to Sheila Mitchell about the different theatre cultures in Britain and France

By Sarah Caudwell   April 1999

In 1925 the Russian poet and playwright Vladimir Mayakovsky spent some months in New York as correspondent for Izvestia. He met and fell in love with an American woman, by whom he had a daughter, born after his return to Russia. For 60 years her existence remained secret, unmentioned in the official biographies. She grew up and still lives in New York where, under the name of Patricia Thompson, she teaches feminist philosophy.

One of her neighbours in Manhattan is the French playwright Daniel Besnehard. On her first visit to his apartment, she was delighted to walk through the door…

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