“It was the first night of ‘Antony and Cleopatra.’ The play was over, and out of the stunned silence which followed the climax of a great tragedy there arose a wave of clapping. A moment’s pause, and then the red and gold curtains of the St. James’s Theatre were held back.
“Hand in hand two people stepped forward to the footlights. They bowed and quite simply, and without any formality, Sir Laurence Olivier bent forward and kissed his wife’s hand. A second later the curtain went up on the full company, and then the Oliviers did something I cannot recall having seen on the stage before. They turned right around and now one with their audience, bowed in thanks to the rest of the cast.
“These two gestures—the kiss and the bow th the company—gave the audience a hint of something rare in the theatre—the combination of a husband and wife who are devoted to the theatre, to each other and to their fellow actors.”
—Felix Barker, The Lives of the Oliviers, 1951