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Maurice At The Above The Stag Theatre


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#1 PaulT

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:31 AM

We saw the play on Saturday night.

Once again Peter Bull and The Above The Stag team have put on yet another brilliant production.  I have read E. M. Forsterís posthumously published novel three times and watched the Merchant-Ivory film countless times so I wondered if Roger Parsley and Andy Grahamís adaption for the stage would work for me.  I neednít have worried.  The intimate setting of the theatre is perfect for this tense and moving story.

The staging is kept to a minimum and the slick scene changes move the story along perfectly.  The cast are excellent.  After the 90 minute first half my mind had not wandered at all from the story.  The second half was tremendous.  The tension built up and was maintained throughout.    Even knowing the story so well did not spoil the ending for me.

I have to admit that, as much as I love the film, the casting for this production is better!  Adam Lilley was brilliantly cast and maintained a convincing Maurice throughout the play.  Clive was played by Rob Stott and by the end of the play I was really starting to hate his character!  Alec Scudder was very gently and compassionately played by Stevie Raine.  His authentic accent and gentle stage presence just added to the overall effect.  

Mauriceís sister Ada, was beautifully played by Persia Lawson and his mother (Mrs Hall) was played by Leanne Masteron.  The part of Anne, Cliveís wife, was taken by Laura Armstrong and delivered the line ďYouíre the eighth friend of Cliveís that Iíve spoken to todayĒ brilliantly.  She made my toes curl as I cringed at her faux pas.  All three actresses portrayed the Edwardian ladies with finesse.

Other cast members included Gil Sutherland who was a grumpy and mean Doctor Barry, Gavin Dobson; a very superior Risley and Alec Gray as a dry, dusty and uncaring Dean Cornwallis.  Jonathan Hansler portrayed a wise Mr Ducie as well as a most creepy and quite scary Mr Lasker Jones.

The intimate space and minimal props were used to great effect.  Mauriceís nightmare scene was brilliantly staged as was Mauriceís second visit to the hypnotherapist with a bare chested Alec appearing through gauze.

It was clear that the whole company had terrific rapport with each other.  The production warrants a second and third viewing.

http://www.abovethestag.com/page6.html




#2 Guest_dbh_*

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:34 PM

QUOTE(PaulT @ Mar 16 2010, 11:31 AM) View Post
We saw the play on Saturday night.

Once again Peter Bull and The Above The Stag team have put on yet another brilliant production.  I have read E. M. Forsterís posthumously published novel three times and watched the Merchant-Ivory film countless times so I wondered if Roger Parsley and Andy Grahamís adaption for the stage would work for me.  I neednít have worried.  The intimate setting of the theatre is perfect for this tense and moving story.

The staging is kept to a minimum and the slick scene changes move the story along perfectly.  The cast are excellent.  After the 90 minute first half my mind had not wandered at all from the story.  The second half was tremendous.  The tension built up and was maintained throughout.    Even knowing the story so well did not spoil the ending for me.

I have to admit that, as much as I love the film, the casting for this production is better!  Adam Lilley was brilliantly cast and maintained a convincing Maurice throughout the play.  Clive was played by Rob Stott and by the end of the play I was really starting to hate his character!  Alec Scudder was very gently and compassionately played by Stevie Raine.  His authentic accent and gentle stage presence just added to the overall effect.  

Mauriceís sister Ada, was beautifully played by Persia Lawson and his mother (Mrs Hall) was played by Leanne Masteron.  The part of Anne, Cliveís wife, was taken by Laura Armstrong and delivered the line ďYouíre the eighth friend of Cliveís that Iíve spoken to todayĒ brilliantly.  She made my toes curl as I cringed at her faux pas.  All three actresses portrayed the Edwardian ladies with finesse.

Other cast members included Gil Sutherland who was a grumpy and mean Doctor Barry, Gavin Dobson; a very superior Risley and Alec Gray as a dry, dusty and uncaring Dean Cornwallis.  Jonathan Hansler portrayed a wise Mr Ducie as well as a most creepy and quite scary Mr Lasker Jones.

The intimate space and minimal props were used to great effect.  Mauriceís nightmare scene was brilliantly staged as was Mauriceís second visit to the hypnotherapist with a bare chested Alec appearing through gauze.

It was clear that the whole company had terrific rapport with each other.  The production warrants a second and third viewing.

http://www.abovethestag.com/page6.html


Agree with all of that.

It's a first-class adaptation, extremely well staged with excellent lighting and costuming.

The playing across the board is of high quality and if I had to single someone out then Adam Lilley's sensitively sustained take on the demanding central role is particularly memorable.

I'm pleased to see the run was extended but this really deserves an even wider audience - and certainly more media attention that it's had so far.

#3 Guest_Shirley Bull_*

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:20 PM

Saw this too. Great. Was looking forward to seeing Paul Tate in the next show, but have just heard he is not doing it.





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