From The Jam Factory – Sarah Hyndman.

The Winslow Boy at the Rose Theatre, Kingston

Posted in With Relish by Type Tasting on May 16, 2009
The Winslow Boy

The Winslow Boy

Last night was press night of The Winslow Boy at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, directed by Stephen Unwin and starring Timothy West. What a fantastic production and a great night out and worth getting all the way across London for! We headed over early enough to grab a bite in Jamie’s new place down there before the queues started.

Having designed the marketing materials for the production we were keen to see how it lived up to our work! There had been a sweet moment when we were shooting the production image: it was a bit boring for the actors as we tweaked the lighting, adjusted their costumes, asked them to do the impossible of moving and standing still whilst balancing on boxes and looking natural… In the middle of it all Timothy turned to new-actor Hugh and said “don’t worry son, acting’s much easier than this”.

During the shoot

During the shoot

I’d initially thought The Winslow Boy would be a bit of a heavy-going piece of drama… it’s about a young boy who’s falsely accused of theft and is expelled from the naval academy without a fair trial. His father and sister then spend the next couple of years sacrificing most of the family’s money, health, university and marriage plans to clear his name.

Sounds very serious but this couldn’t have been further from the truth thanks to Terrance Rattigan’s very witty script and the play’s fast-paced direction. Timothy West was brilliant – a dry, witty, longsuffering dad who gets the best comedy one-liners. Hugh Wyld was endearing as the expelled cadet who lived in his own happy world and seemed blissfully unaware of the gravity of what was going on around him.

I loved Claire Cox’s role as the feisty independent sister who argued her case for womens’ equality so articulately and wittily that she deserved a sequel all to herself about just what she does next (and damn I wish I could be that articulate in an argument).

At the end, the mayor of Kingston was the first to leap to his feet to applaud and everybody was chatting and smiling as they left the auditorium and headed for the bar.

If you go, check out the cheapest pit seats – take your own cushion and sit in the best seats in the house in the pit in front of the stage. There is a serious bit of cushion-competition going on – patterns, beanbags, mini seats with backs…

http://www.rosetheatrekingston.org/whats-on/the-winslow-boy/

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