The Heiress is a play based on 'Washington Square' by Henry James. Written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, it is about Catherine Sloper who is not beautiful but potentially very rich. When the handsome Morris Townsend courts her, the play develops around the actions of her protective father, Dr Sloper.
This is the Haymarket Theatre production of the play directed by John Gielgud in 1949. Peggy Ashcroft as Catherine, holds the arm of her father, played by Ralph Richardson. Sir Ralph was one of the most beloved actors of the late 20th century. Together with motorcycling to work at the National Theatre quite late in his life, he is well remembered for his quirky sense of humour together with a quaint sense of self. During rehearsals for The Heiress he was seen looking for something. When asked what it was he replied 'I've lost my talent. It wasn't very big, but it was shiny'.