In June of 2001 the final scene of the show was still incomplete. Along the way I'd played with one or two ideas, and finally settled on the
structure of the ending.
All that was missing was the little matter of the words.
I knew that the scene would be between Archie and Elsie, with a little tag on the end to round things off.
My biggest problem was that there is no real information on that reunion between mother and son, apart from the fact that Archie had leaned towards
his mother to kiss her, and she had pushed him away.
I had prided myself that everything I had written for the show so far was as factual as I could possibly make it. But this scene had to be written,
and it would be cheating the audience to just have Archie enter the room, and Elsie push him away.
What is also known is that after Elias died, Archie made sure Elsie was looked after.
In the end I based the words for the scene on a mixture of the character of the two people, the idea of separation, and a recurring dream of mine.
When I was fourteen years old, I lost my Mother to cancer and since that time I have often had a dream. In that dream I would go to a very large Tudor style house somewhere in the
countryside. The outside of the house is painted white with wooden beams painted black. Inside there is a large wood paneled entrance hall with a sweeping wooden staircase. My mother
is always in a room upstairs.
In my mind there are always so many questions with impossible answers. How could I have seen her buried, and yet, see her in front of me?
If she had not died, why had there been no contact? Maybe there had been some cure, and somehow she had been brought back to life! All these questions would go through my mind in the dream,
and in some ways, thankfully, it was only a dream. I would often wake up sweating and feel I had been crying all night long - maybe I had.
For Archie Leach the reunion with his mother was not a dream, it was real life. God only knows what was going through his mind on seeing his mother
again for the first time in over twenty years.
late 1996 Robert Barham began work on a musical about
the early life of Cary Grant. The musical was entitled
"Archie". During the course of his research,
Robert came across a number of extraordinary
coincidences between his own life, and that of Cary
Grant. In "The Journey", Robert tells the
fascinating story of his three years writing and
researching the musical, from page to stage. A tale
which would take him from London, to Cary's birth town
of Bristol, and finally on to Hollywood.
To order The Journey, go to
You will then have the ability to download this e-book for
Four | Chapter
Eight | Chapter
11 | Epilogue
the Musical | The
Journey | Guestbook |