The Guardian reports that at least 20 unpublished stories by Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, have been discovered by researchers sorting through his papers at a research centre in Manchester, the city in which he was born.
The paper reports that among the cache of new material are "unfinished or rejected scripts for television and film projects, including lives of Atilla the Hun, Sigmund Freud and Michelangelo and a play about Harry Houdini that he collaborated on with Orson Welles."
Houdini by Anthony Burgess and Orson Welles, eh? Could the plan have been that Welles would play Houdini in the production? Unfortunately, the article doesn't provide a year for the collaboration, but if this was done in Welles prime, certainly that could have been the case. I've often wondered why Welles, who saw Houdini in his youth, never did a Houdini project. Now it appears he did. Or at least tried.
But this was not Burgess's only reported stab at Houdini. In 1974 he wrote the book for an unproduced musical about the life of Houdini for producer Ray Stark called, Hocus Pocus. Could this have been the same play? (Although it's unlikely Welles could have played Houdini in 1974.)
It's also worth noting that Orson Welles was Hedda Hopper's favored choice for the lead in Paramount's 1953 HOUDINI.
The Guardian article does not say where this new material will be archived, but this would certainly be one to study.
Thanks to MSW for the tip.