Première of the In His Own Write stage play

6.00pm, Tuesday 18 June 1968 (45 years ago)

The National Theatre’s stage version of John Lennon‘s book In His Own Write, directed by Victor Spinetti, had its début at the Old Vic Theatre on London’s Waterloo Road.

The play was the idea of dramatist Adrienne Kennedy, who co-wrote it with Spinetti. They based it on Lennon’s first book and the follow-up, A Spaniard In The Works. It featured a character, Me, played by Ronald Pickup, whose thoughts and ideas were followed throughout the play.

Lennon’s arrival with Yoko Ono caused much fuss among the journalists and reporters present. Although the pair had first appeared in public some weeks earlier, the news of Lennon’s marriage ending was still largely unknown.

The press hostility towards Ono can perhaps be traced to this day. Several reporters called out, “Where’s your wife, Mr Lennon?” His only reply to them was “I don’t know.”

During its run at the Old Vic, In HIs Own Write followed two other one-act plays to form a triple bill. The others, neither of which was connected to Lennon, were A Covent Garden Tragedy and An Unwarranted Intrusion.

Also at the play were George and Pattie Harrison, and Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen. Paul McCartney was absent, choosing instead to attend the opening of another play, starring his fiancée Jane Asher.

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