The revival of Harlequinade, directed by Branagh and Ashford, now playing at the Garrick Theatre (in a 100 minute experience that includes All On Her Own and no intervals) is something of a revelation. Mostly, Harlequinade is seen in conjunction with The Browning Version, one of Rattigan’s masterpieces, usually as a curtain raiser. To my mind, that combination has never worked and Harlequinade has always seemed pale and irksome by comparison with The Browning Version. But, here, released from the curtain raiser position, placed directly in the spotlight, splendidly set up by the intense darkness of All On Her Own, the play can shine.
This is the first publicity image released from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company for their first production the never-before seen Rattigan double bill of Harlequinade and All On Her Own. Harlequinade and All On Her Own will play in repertory with A Winter’s Tale from 17 October 2015 at the Garrick Theatre, London. In the rarely seen comic gem Harlequinade, a classical theatre company attempts to produce The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet, while the intrigues and dalliances of the company members are accidently revealed with increasingly chaotic and hysterical consequences. Kenneth Branagh will play Harlequinade’s actor-manager Arthur Gosport in addition to co-directing the production with Rob Ashford. The full cast for Harlequinade includes: Jaygann Ayeh (Second Halberdier), Tom Bateman (Jack Wakefield), Kenneth Branagh (Arthur Gosport), Jessie Buckley (Muriel Palmer), Vera Chok (Miss Fishlock), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Tom Palmer), John Dagleish (Policeman), Hadley Fraser (First Halberdier), Ansu Kabia (Johnny), … Read more
Flare Path centres on the fears and frustrations that derive from an interminable war, seen through the eyes of three married couples. Although its central love triangle can be more distracting than compelling, overall this is a fine production with a host of excellent performances and an admirably tense atmosphere.
Based on Rattigan’s experiences as a tail gunner during World War II, Flare Path paints an evocative portrait of life in wartime Britain for the life-and-death existence of the RAF bomber crews, and their wives and sweethearts who were left waiting their return. Set in 1942 against a backdrop of heartache and quiet bravery, Flare Path tells the story of former actress Patricia, the wife of RAF pilot Teddy, whose marriage is tested to the limits by the surprise arrival of Patricia’s ex‐lover and Hollywood idol Peter Kyle. An unexpected and dangerous mission over Germany puts Patricia at the centre of an emotional conflict as unpredictable as the war in the skies. Flare Path combines highly charged drama with a truly authentic taste of the fear, camaraderie and passion experienced by the men and women who fought to save their country, their families and each other. The cast of Flare … Read more
In the first of our Tales From The Dressing Room series, Penelope Keith chats candidly to JBR about the changes in the industry since her training. “Come in, come in. Welcome to the most elegant dressing room in the West End.” How could it not be? This is, after all, the famed Dressing Room No. 10 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Current resident, the ever fragrant Penelope Keith, is precisely as one imagines her to be; part hectoring schoolmarm, part favourite aunt. “I like the idea of older actors passing on what they know, but don’t make me sound too much like an old fart,” she pleads, as she crosses the room and takes her seat. The room is not the most extravagantly appointed one in the West End. A large, French style dressing table occupies the right hand side where Keith’s wig sits, proudly, on a stand. Modest amounts … Read more