16 November 2009

The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett

Matt (Sound)- Danny Burns
Ralph (Dresser) - Martin Chamberlain
Brian (Originally Boyle) - Philip Childs
Kay (Stage Manager) - Frances de la Tour
Fitz (W H Auden) - Richard Griffiths
George (Assistant Stage Manager) - John Heffernan
Henry (Benjamin Britten) - Alex Jennings
Joan (Chaperone) - Barbara Kirby
Neil (Author) - Elliot Levey
Donald (Humphrey Carpenter) - Adrian Scarborough
Tim (Stuart) - Stephen Wight
Charlie (Singer) - Laurence Belcher/Otto Farrant/Toby Graham
Tom (Rehearsal Pianist) - Tom Attwood

Director - Nicholas Hytner
Designer - Bob Crowley

Seen on the last night of preview in a brilliant seat (by Lyttelton Standards). Jean Marsh was in the audience. Georgia Moffat and her boyfriend were wandering in the vicinity.

I am confident that all the reviews will set out the perverted joy of this piece. Mr Bennett presents us with theatrical faux-pas that no other playwright could possibly get away with and we delight in them like the supplicants we all are.

More deliciously adroit lines per minute than should be allowed in the current economic climate and all performed with the relish that any actor given this opportunity should convey. Have a little poke around the site.

All the action takes place in an imagined rehearsal room a this National Theatre.
A rogue mobile was swiftly retired and a couple of dissatisfied customers removed themselves with the minimum of fuss. One latercomer was allowed to make a leisurely fumble into the second row during one of Adrian Scarborough's speeches but there is always a cavalier approach to a preview. I daresay the press were no better behaved on the following evening.

This play is part of the Theatre Live programme and can be seen on 22nd April 2010