Tag Archives: The Browning Version

REVIEW: The Browning Version – Rapture Bites – EK Arts Centre, East Kilbride

Second up in the inventively curated Rapture Bites season is Terence Rattigan’s 1948 classic, The Browning Version. Almost always guaranteed to wring a tear from even those with the hardest of hearts, it again proves so today at a packed East Kilbride Arts Centre.

Dubbed “the crock” by his students and despised for his unyielding manner and humourlessness (unlike his unfaithful, younger wife), it’s the last day of work at an un-named English public school for Classics teacher Andrew Crocker-Harris (the Himmler of the Lower Fifth) before moving to a new post. It takes a gift from one of his pupils, to prompt him to reflect on his past, look to what his future may be, and think deeply how he is going to end his tenure at the school where he has spent the best part of his life.

Rattigan’s 70 year-old play speaks to us down through the decades, dealing as it does with universal themes: our increasing feelings of uselessness as we age, the guilt of remaining in a marriage of unequal emotion, the consequence of our decisions in early life, the regret at potential unfulfilled. Michael Emans’ again demonstrates his sure hand at the helm of the production. Every subtle nuance is coaxed out of every beautifully written line. 

This is one of the most exquisitely acted productions I’ve seen in a very long time, rarely have I seen such a perfectly cast and performed piece. Robin Kingsland is a beautifully judged Crocker-Harris (I defy you not to have a glimmer of a tear in your eye near the end) as is Paul Albertson as Hunter who despite being Crocker-Harris’ wife’s lover, shows the most compassion towards him at the end. Michael Mackenzie does a fine job of demonstrating Head Master, Dr. Frobisher’s crushing insensitivity towards the departing master, but, it is Dylan Blore as schoolboy Taplow who turns in an utterly scene-stealing performance. 

Rightly regarded as a 70-minute masterpiece, this production from Rapture Theatre is as close to perfection as you are likely to see on any stage – truly out-standing and proves that sometimes an anti-climax is the most perfect way to end.

 

NEWS: Lunchtime Theatre Launching at Eastwood Park Theatre

A brand new lunchtime theatre season is set to be served up at Giffnock’s Eastwood Park Theatre.

The exciting short season of bite-size lunchtime classic plays will be presented by the renowned Rapture, one of Scotland’s leading theatre companies, and the one-act plays will feature a stellar cast.

Theatre goers will have a lunch included in the ticket price, which is just £9 per performance.

For starters, The Twelve Pound Look, by the Scottish scribe of Peter Pan,J.M. Barrie, will take to the stage on Saturday 16 February and allow the audience to see a world beyond Peter Pan. The play will star American movie actor Tom Hodgkins alongside Julia Watson, best known as Dr Baz from BBC’s Casualty.

The Browning Version follows on Tuesday 5 March, a play by Terence Rattigan set after the Second World War, known as a timeless masterpiece of love and regret and the human capacity for change.

Harold Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska, based on Oliver Sack’s memoir Awakenings, completes the season of classic one-acts, on 29 March. The brand new production of this play by one of the twentieth centuries most influential writers, is a great way to round off the debut season of lunchtime theatre.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, said: “We’re excited to be bringing a slice of something new to the southside over the coming weeks with Rapture Bites.

“Lunchtime theatre is hugely successful in the west end of Glasgow and beyond and we’re sure the community will welcome a new season here with open arms.”

A light lunch from Eastwood Park’s theatre café will be included.

Rapture Theatre’s Director Michael Emans said  “Bringing quality theatre with great scripts and stellar casts to local venues is a real passion for Rapture.  We are, therefore, delighted to work with East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure to bring these shows to local audiences.”

Image: Director Michael Emans with The Twelve Pound Look cast members Tom Hodgkins, Steven Scott Fitzgerald, Jo Freer and Julia Watson