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Posts Tagged ‘Sara Crowe’

A gold star to Jermyn Street Theatre for kicking off Rattigan’s centenary year with the world premiere of the original version of a play which in any version is rarely staged. One might have thought he re-wrote it to placate the censors, given themes that would have shocked then if not now, but apparently he re-wrote it to accommodate the wishes of the star actors to whom it was offered.

Sir John Fletcher (excellently played by Michael Simkins), an industrialist given a position in the war cabinet, is estranged from his wife and has moved his lover in to the family home. Her teenage son, evacuated to Canada, returns home and jeopardises their relationship. There is a political dimension to the clash between the son and the minister (leftie meets reactionary) which provides another layer to the drama. There’s a nod to Hamlet, a number of issues discussed, and more witty lines than you might expect.

It’s not a great play, but it’s an interesting one and it’s given a decent production in this tiny space. Sara Crowe is a little too dippy as the lover at the outset but soon settles into the role, David Osmond seemed a bit sweet as the role of Michael hardened, but Caroline Head was spot on as the wife. Suzi Lombardelli’s design makes good use of the performing area.

This theatre really does need to put some sort of stage or platform to raise the performing area above its current floor level. There are only five rows of seats, but from the fifth row you see none of the performing area and when actors sit, not a lot of them either!

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