Friday, 2 March 2012
First put on in September 1962, I saw it at Stratford the following year, with Alec McCowen and the late-lamented Ian Richardson, Clifford Rose and Barry MacGregor in the male leads - other parts played by Donald Sinden, Diana Rigg, Janet Suzman…
I'm inclined to confess that yesterday the best bit was my Ben & Jerry ice cream in the interval. The production by the Royal Court's Dominic Cooke is dark, dark, dark - more uniformly so even than Act 1 of Propeller's recent Winter's Tale. I really don't think that the earlier play can stand that much directorial business: it left a distinctly unpleasant taste in the mouth - not one offset by some excellent acting and - praise be! - verse speaking: in the latter department, Pamela Nomvete as an unlikely-looking Abbess was outstanding, though her part is only a minor one.
It was the second occasion this week that I've left a so-called comedy dissatisfied: on Tuesday our Film Society showed a French film (from 2008), Louise-Michel: it was the first time I've ever found myself walking out before the end: it made me feel quite sick.