The Cheyne Arts Club is based on the Chelsea Arts Club in London. A members-only social club, I remember going there a lot with my parents when I was a kid, though I don’t remember if my parents were members, or if we were always there because friends were. I have strong memories of the bar and it’s full-sized snooker table, and a Saturday lunch where I sat next to Leonard Whiting, the actor who played Romeo in Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and listened to New York nightlife doyenne Susanne Bartsch regale us with a description of a porn film she had just watched in which the performers sucked at each other’s armpits. I must have been thirteen at the time.
George Armitage: Husband of Gosha. Not the man she thought he was when she married him. Handsome, selfish, entitled, and cruel.
Though Gosha and George’s marriage is on its last legs at the beginning of Waking the Witch, in my mind, George needed to be someone who could have caught her eye when they were both younger and more interested in showing the world a more acceptable version of themselves. Armie Hammer is the modern version of George, whereas the brothers James and Edward Fox, actors in their prime in the UK in the seventies, are more of the contemporary version of what Gosha, someone desperate to throw off any connection the Old Country and her mother’s magic, would be drawn to like a moth to a flame.