DescriptionBoris Karloff's Heavily Annotated Script for The Lark. Boris Karloff reached his peak as a serious "legitimate" actor on the evening of November 17, 1955, when the play The Lark opened on Broadway. Karloff's heartrending portrayal of Bishop Cauchon, who tries to save Julie Harris' Joan of Arc from being burned at the stake, won him outstanding critical notices and a Tony Award nomination. Written by Jean Anouilh, adapted by Lillian Hellman and scored with incidental music by Leonard Bernstein, The Lark was a critical and popular triumph, running 229 performances, and Karloff and Harris reprised their roles on TV's The Hallmark Hall of Fame (February 10, 1957).
This is Karloff's personal script for The Lark, filled with his extensive annotations. The actor had written his name (simply as "Karloff") in ink on the title page, and has added in pen and pencil throughout the script many notes, including the rehearsal location (New Amsterdam Roof), names, addresses and phone numbers of various people in the company and many dialogue changes, cuts, and notes, all in his own handwriting. Perhaps most interesting are the directions Karloff wrote in the script during rehearsals regarding his portrayal of Cauchon -- such as "Nervous", "Irritability", "No pleading", "Brutal", "Fight Joan in this scene", "gentler on last sentence", "The guts of the scene are gone", and "I knew the girl and I loved her". As such the script offers great insight into the depth of Karloff's dramatic perception.
The script is in a 9" x 11.5" black leather binder with The Lark engraved in gold lettering. Also included is a clipping from The Christian Science Monitor (May 19, 1956), showing Karloff studying the script.
This is the only Karloff preserved annotated script Heritage has ever offered in auction -- truly a one-of-a-kind artifact, and great testimony to Boris Karloff's legendary passion and professionalism as an actor. From the Boris Karloff Estate Collection. Accompanied by James Spence Authentication auction LOA.
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