Wednesday, July 7, 2010

After the Dance, play review

After the Dance, by Terence Rattigan is a thoroughly enjoyable play set in the inter-war years, extremely well staged and acted in the Lyttleton auditorium of the National Theatre in London.
It's set amongs a dissolute crowd of people mainly in their late 30s who were too young to fight in WW1 and are going to be too old to fight in WW2.
The only thing of note that they did in their lives was to party their way through the 1920s, and now even they are starting to think how shallow it all might have been.
As one of the play's great lines says, 'they used to be the bright young things, but maybe they weren't so bright, and now they're not even young'
The plot mainly concerns two relationships, one a marraige (supposedly) of convenience, and the other of a younger couple, one of whom loves the alcoholic male party of the other relationship. There are several other characters, the most important of whom is a supposedly apathetic friend sponging on the rich alcoholic, but who turns out to be more perceptive than all the others put together.
Anyway, suffice to say, that it is a very well written play, with some excellent social insights into life in the 1930s, and very well developed characters. All the actors were good, but especially the leading 4; Benedict Cumberbatch, Nancy Carroll, Adrian Scarborough and Faye Castelow.
I tend to love anything set in this era, so perhaps I am biased, and therefore really loved the play, but I would maybe concede that some of his other plays, such as the Deep Blue Sea, perhaps have a bit more to them.
Highly recommended though.

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