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Synopsis

“Tell the truth,” her friend the director Lindsay Anderson urged Eleanor Fazan. “It’s seldom heard.” Nor is it easy to tell. But that’s what “Fiz” has done: delivering frank and intimate accounts of her not-always-peaceful collaborations with the brilliant figures she has worked with over the decades – on stage in London’s West End, on screen, and in opera. It’s an amazing line-up: among performers, from Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge and George Formby to Barry Humphries, Alec Guinness, Laurence Olivier; among directors, Tony Richardson, John Schlesinger, and Stephen Frears; among writers, John Osborne and the legendary Beyond the Fringe team – Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore. Along the way we get musicians too: her husband Stanley Myers, composer of “Cavatina,” the haunting theme from The Deerhunter, and the god-like maestro Herbert von Karajan. Fiz’s memoir offers a modest, frank, and often startlingly perceptive account of the delights and difficulties of working with some of the most brilliant – and utterly impossible – writers, directors, and performers of the last sixty years. Her true stories of professional relationships are funny, affectionate, sometimes searing; always enlightening about the agonies and ecstasies of what goes on behind the scenes.

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