Inside Trader

Last night Quartet celebrated the publication of Trader Faulkner’s book of memoirs, Inside Trader, at Australia House in the Strand. Here is what I said to mark the occasion.

As his publisher, I have been asked to say a few words to acquaint this illustrious gathering with the life of Trader Faulkner, the author of the book we are here to celebrate.

Trader was born and raised in Australia for the first quarter of his life. He was a troubled and rebellious surfer and tearaway giving his mother a rough time after his father died when he was just seven years old. Although dreaming of a career in the Australian Royal Navy fate had other ideas for him. He chose the theatre not unlike his father, the silent film actor John Faulkner and his mother, Sheila Whytock, a ballerina who danced with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and the great Anna Pavlova.

Under the guidance of his friend and mentor Peter Finch the young Faulkner, who by that time garnered the nickname ‘Trader’, invaded our shores in 1950 and decided to live and prosper among us.

His career in the theatre soon took off bringing him in contact with some of the finest actors, directors and playwrights of his time. He also took up Flamenco, a dance he mastered earning him the respect of Antonio Gades and Antonio el Bailarin along the way.

His book is full of gems and, in the words of Sir Peter Hall, ‘gossipy, irreverent and extremely funny’. When I first read the manuscript it brought back happy memories of the time when I too dabbled in the theatre, not as an actor but as a producer, and found the whole experience seductively uplifting. Trader is fortunate to have met droves of interesting people, lived in their milieu and, I am sure, must have enjoyed every minute of each encounter. Creative people can be sometimes unbearably difficult but the interest factor of their having lived their life to the limit makes them impossible to resist. However, Trader is a joy to be with and deserves our attention and support.

I would therefore like to encourage all those assembled here today to pay him great tribute by purchasing a copy of his book and thereby spreading the good word among their friends. With my hand on my aching heart, I do beg you, don’t let him down.

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