Car 5

Mr Anthony Auldgirth

Outward appearance

Old blind man with a white cane and carefully maintained suit. A few wisps of red hair over his head. The bald skin is mottled with age spots, which have gone crusty. His hands are frail bundles of tendon and blue veins. His sits patiently, quietly, waiting.

Inside information

His name would have been well known to readers of The Times during the early 1950s. Became a friend of Samuel Beckett at Trinity College Dublin. Saw Godot in its earliest production and realised then his friend was marked for greatness.

Misses his wife Elizabeth beyond endurance. In New York, Norman Mailer once said of her: "This is a woman you can talk to on any level". Elizabeth died of cancer in 1985.

What he is doing or thinking

Remembering his first meeting with his wife's best friend in 1934. Daphne lived on a house right on the banks of the Thames. She wore a green bathing suit. Anthony was shy: all he could think of saying was "Elizabeth tells me you stand on your head." Daphne promptly did so, and walked back into the house on her hands.

Daphne's son Thomas is now 50 years old, running a business in Australia. Thomas knows nothing of the house near Reading, or of how beautiful his mother once was. As a schoolboy in the 1950s, Thomas would come to stay bringing his friend. In consequence, here Anthony is, in the 1990s, going to visit that friend in West Square with Elizabeth's daughter. The consequences go on and on.

The people don't of course.

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