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  1. A friend of mine once wrote a letter to Sir Laurence Olivier. She was a teenager, at the time, and had been impressed by Sir Larry’s performance in a TV play about an Italian family. My friend’s background was Italian. Her letter told the actor how much she’d enjoyed his performance, and how accurate the characterisations in the play had been. She addressed the letter to him at the BBC. Years later, when she was in her twenties, a reply arrived. The elderly knight apologised for not getting back to her sooner: ‘Your letter has been following me round the world; it just missed me in Sydney; but now it has reached me here, back at the National Theatre. Thank you ever so much for your kind comments about my work.’

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