Tempers were a little frayed and Soviet-British relations some what strained on Sunday, 11th. May,?
Tempers were a little frayed and Soviet-British relations some what strained on Sunday, 11th. May, while a reception party of Russian diplomats and British actors and dancers waited for the arrival of the Moscow Arts Theatre Company at Stansted airfield, Essex. Not only was the giant TU-104 jet airliner 3 3/4 hours late but the dismal landscape of Stansted, composed mainly of grey Nissen huts and long grass, annoyed the Soviet Ambassador, Mr. Malik, who had earlier complained to the Ministry of Transport about the refusal to allow the Tu-104 ---one of Russia's biggest, most modern but noisy airliners ------to land at London Airport.
When the plane eventually arrived, at 5:15 p.m., all these inconveniences were forgotten, and the welcoming party drove to met the airliner in convoy of 34 cars and two coaches, waving streamers. As the Moscow Arts Theatre Company members stepped from the TU-104 bunches of flowers were thrown to them by the British actors and actresses.
Short speeches of welcome and thanks were made by members of both groups including Mr. Peter Daubeny, who is presenting the Company in Britain for their four week season at Sadler's Wells, Mr. Christopher Mayhew, Socialist M.P. and chairman of the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council, [illegible], conservative Mr. Paul [illegible] group of 100 British actors and actresses at the airfield. The Russian actress, Alla Tarasova, leading member of the Arts Theatre company, replied on behalf her colleagues.
Then the Russians drove to a Kensington Hotel, London, before they start their rehearsals for the opening of their short season on Thursday, 15th. May.