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The Winslow Boy

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#1 Lynette

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:28 PM

Was sitting next to Charles Spencer of The Telegraph this evening who took notes diligently throughout. Nice guy, didn't mind being spoken to!

I vaguely remember the old movie of this story but had never seen the play. It is an interesting one if you don't mind a lot of talky talky and some staginess which I don't. One set which frankly was a bit of a disappointment as it is supposed to be the Edwardian home of a retired bank person and there wasn't a bit of either Edwardian stain glass or arts and craft stuff anywhere to be seen. I kept thinking of what they would have done at the Donmar or the Lyttleton [ which I hate but am prepared to admit they do good sets at] They tried to vary things with the lighting and a few sound effects.

The play has a contemporary resonance as it is about doing the 'right ' thing against the conventions, prejudices and priorities of the time. It is about family loyalty, integrity and above all about the law! The central character of the lawyer who takes the case of the boy is dynamic and powerful. Nicely played by Peter Sullivan. I felt that the heart and soul of the play was in the character of the older sister, played by Naomi Frederick, impressive as ever, who is a suffragette, the most intelligent of the three children, bursting with integrity and so on... as if Rattigan has set out to write a play about the boy's case but found his sister more interesting.

Henry Goodman whom I had expected to shine slightly disappointed me. I thought he should have been colder and more truly the scary 'Victorian' style father at the beginning. There should be some ambiguity about why he pursues the case. But he played it as a loving father from the off. 'Spose it worked ok.

I notice in the proggie it says the play was first on in 1946 so comparison possible with Priestly's An Inspector Calls which of course had a such a radical renewal of life with the 'no such thing as society' production. This is also about what we should hold as important to our society and to humanity but though based on a real life story has less theatrical punch. Nice end to Act One though, a real show stopper.

#2 MrBarnaby

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

This sounds so dull... And Henry Goodman always annoys me, a very attention seeking actor.

#3 Lynette

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

It's not dull but it isn't Constellations or Jerusalem.

#4 armadillo

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:31 PM

I  suppose some of the real Archer-Shees must have  been alive when the play came out though the real sister was  a nun and the brother was actually an MP. Not the poor Boy though who was killed in France in 1914 :(

#5 fringefan

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:45 AM

View PostLynette, on 17 March 2013 - 09:00 AM, said:

It's not dull but it isn't Constellations or Jerusalem.

A striking comparison for me, as I was unimpressed by both those but loved the last production I saw of The Winslow Boy.  Still trying to decide whether to see another so soon.

#6 xanderl

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

Quite an apt comparison given Rattigan's history with the Royal Court.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#7 Honoured Guest

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:06 AM

View PostLynette, on 16 March 2013 - 11:28 PM, said:

Was sitting next to Charles Spencer of The Telegraph this evening who took notes diligently throughout. Nice guy, didn't mind being spoken to!

Lynette, you're lucky to escape mention in CS's Telegraph review - unlike the woman next to him when he reviewed Lullaby: http://www.telegraph...tre-review.html

#8 Lynette

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:06 PM

I wasn't sleeping with the guy. What a suggestion.HG get a grip.

#9 Lynette

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Just seen Mr Spencer has given Winslow 5 stars. So theatre producers take note, if you want a good review sit me next to Mr Spencer.

#10 trafficlighttheatregoer

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:30 AM

The Winslow Boy Review

Is Right Ever Really Done? Rattigan's Tangled Web

"It was generally thought to be very strange that a notoriously insincere farceur could so readily turn his hand to matters of fairly serious theatrical moment ..." the playwright quoted in Terence Rattigan by Michael Darlow and Gillian Hodson.

TLT and her shiny metal aide de camp went to an early Old Vic preview of  Rattigan’s evergreen The Winslow Boy, the five-shilling-stolen-postal-order drama ...

Continued at  http://trafficlightt...boy-review.html






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