For the first time in a generation Terence Rattigan’s 1936 comedy will have a London run at the Orange Tree Theatre. After a group of young men arrive at Monsieur Maingot’s French school for the summer to cram for the Diplomatic exam, their concentration is disrupted by beautiful visitor Diana Lake. Quelle surprise, they must learn another new language: girls. At first, it seems pretty simple. Kit loves Diana and she loves him. And Bill. Oh, and darling Alan, of course. Then there’s Jack: she’s in love too. Meanwhile, Babe conceals his feelings… Not so simple after all. French Without Tears will be directed by Orange Tree Artistic Director Paul Miller. Casting includes Laila Alj, William Belchambers, Alexander Bhat, Joe Eyre, Genevieve Gaunt, Tom Hanson, Patrick McNamee, David Whitworth and Sarah Winter. French Without Tears is designed by Simon Daw, lighting design by Mark Doubleday, Costumes by Holly Rose Henshaw … Read more
Despite its trappings and narrative, this is not a play about Anzac Day, the public holiday in Australia where attention is paid to those who fought for their country in wars, those who were killed or maimed, or worse, survived. No. In the same way Death of a Salesman is fundamentally about the American Dream, so The One Day Of The Year is about the Australian Dream, or perhaps more exactly, about the dream of what it is to be an aspirational Australian. Wayne Harrison has achieved something quite remarkable here. A revival, a rebirth of a classic play without bells and whistles, just relying upon intelligent, visionary story telling and first rate acting. Mark Little’s mercurial, bombastic and, ultimately, desperate Alf is a performance for the history books and the support he has from Fiona Press, Paul Haley and James William Wright is exceptional.