I have just watched and recorded the film version of Cottage to Let, made in 1941. Among the cast are Leslie Banks, Alistair Sim and George Cole, who were also in the stage play, performed in 1940 (see details in the Theatre section). Charles Mortimer played a police detective with success on the stage, but was not involved in the film. Interestingly, however, also in the film cast was Michael Wilding. I remember my mother telling me that Charles' wife, Greta Wood (my grandmother) wrote to Mr Wilding in the 1970's, congratulating him on his knighthood. Mr Wilding, who I believe lived in Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire area, close to the cottage, replied with a nice note thanking Greta for her kindness, but informing her that she was a little premature, he had not received a knighthood.
This year's London trip took in two new shows, sandwiching your correspondent's visit to watch his football team's first match of the season at Fulham. The less said about the latter, the better!
The first show seen was "Hobson's Choice" at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand. Martin Shaw was the star name in the cast, and fulfilled his role of Henry Hobson, shop owner and father of three unmarried daughters, all employed in the shop, with excellent pomposity and alcoholic bullishness, but it was Naomi Frederick, as Maggie, the eldest daughter, and true custodian of the shop, and Bryan Dick, as the trembling, but promising bootmaker, Willie Mossop, who must also take the plaudits. An excellent performance also saw the rest of the cast make the play an excellent choice of viewing.
Secondly, a visit to the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly, a theatre below street level, in which the passing tube trains can be heard, to see "The Comedy about a Bank Robbery", a play written and performed by the Mischief Company, who gave us "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the Duchess, last year. To review this, all I can say is .......... wonderful, brilliant, laugh-a-minute ............ go and see it for yourself! Possible winner for the prestigious Olivier Awards.
One of the great performances in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves - stole the show - but you will have your own favourites. A great loss to the theatre and film world.
Two shows that need to be seen in the West End at present are "Hay Fever" at the Duke of York, and "The Play that Goes Wrong" at the Duchess.
The former was a lighthearted romp from the 1920's, starring Felicity Kendall (ex Good Life) in excellent form. It was eccentric and fast paced, with Miss Kendall's comic timing coming to the fore. The play was enjoyable and worth the visit, however.............
............ if you like slapstick, laugh a minute, fun, the latter is for you. It started before the play started (you will get this if you go and see it) and continued throughout the evening with constant guffaws from the audience. If you like John Cleese/Harold Lloyd/ Buster Keaton/ Abbott and Costello, then this play is for you. Special mention for the cast, must also stretch to the stage crew, whose efforts to put together (!!) the scenery is to be commended. A must!
Finally, if you have not seen "The Thirty Nine Steps" at the Criterion, I would suggest a visit soon, as the play is due to close in September. Adieu.
We went to see David Suchet star in "The Importance of Being Earnest", at the Theatre Royal, in Newcastle upon Tyne, and were not let down by the production. Mr Suchet, playing Lady Bracknell, played the role with consummate ease, with enough superiority and mischief, to make him/her plausible. The assembled cast around Mr Suchet, were also of the highest class, keeping the play flowing, and the audience very well entertained. A definite must for future theatre lovers. The production proceeds to the Theatre Royal, Bath, from next week.
It was great to hear from you, and sorry to hear you aren't 100%. Do you have contact details, so that I can get in touch. Glad you like the website.
Currently showing at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne, my colleagues at school, Head of Drama, Anthony, and his lady, Sarah, took in Rebecca this week, and awarded it top marks - "one of the best performances we have seen recently" - praise indeed. If it is coming to a theatre near you, their recommendation is well worth taking up. Hope you enjoy it. The original film starred Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and George Sanders, and is also worth a look. Enjoy!
Just been having look at the stats on the website, and there seems to be a lot of activity already today and yesterday. I would love to hear from you and tell me what you think of it, and why you are looking at it. Big day for my football team today, they need a win, haway the lads!
Been to see "Gypsy" at the Savoy recently, with Imelda Staunton, I thought I would not enjoy it (more a drama/comedy man). Wow! was I wrong. An amazing performance from Ms Staunton, and the cast. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone to take a trip to the Savoy Theatre in London. The Italian restaurant across the Strand, Salieri's, has a good pre-performance menu. Good to hear from two of my cousins this weekend. Met Hugh and his wife, Kate, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, on Saturday, and had an e-mail from Jane in Devon yesterday. Great to have contact with them all.