The eloquence, poignancy and intelligence of the great British playwright Terence Rattigan comes to the screen once again in the latest revival of the awkward, brilliant and demanding play The Deep Blue Sea, with Rachel Weisz in the role once created so memorably by Vivien Leigh. It is quirky, dark, much maligned by feminists and too slow for some tastes, but it’s a work worth seeing again, and Ms. Weisz is wonderful in it.
Traditional, expertly written plays about important issues, with real people saying real things to each other on skillfully designed sets that evoke total naturalistic consistency, are in great demand and short supply. It is therefore a thrill to spread the welcome mat for Man and Boy, the 1963 play about corruption in the world of business and finance, by the great Terence Rattigan. To celebrate the centennial year of a writer who was, along with his contemporary Noel Coward, renowned for emotional subtext and elegance of syntax, the Roundabout has graced us with a splendid revival of one of his lesser but bolder plays, briskly directed by Maria Aitken, with a blazing centerpiece performance by Frank Langella that simmers with fury and rage.
Change Stages and Dance: England’s Greatest Asset
It’s quite rare that I would rave about a theater book, unless I wrote it. I’m suspicious of the industry-the thousandth analysis of the Method, another post-feminist perspective. I tend only to read the books of critics who are dead and still very much alive-Kenneth Tynan for his Read More
Could you name, I wonder, the one play in the history of theater that has a birthday?
When was Hamlet born? The premiere of The Three Sisters ? The date that Tony Kushner’s Angels in America , the epic drama of our time, opened? No, only John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger , the watershed Read More
David Mamet’s The Winslow Boy , from Mr. Mamet’s screenplay, based on the play by Terence Rattigan, succeeds cinematically through Mr. Mamet’s profound appreciation of his source material’s essential theatricality. The emotional resonance generated by this latest version of The Winslow Boy reminds us that film and theater have shared an incestuous relationship ever since Read More