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Previewed 1 February 2005, Opened 7 February 2005, Closed 16 April 2005 Duchess Theatre in London
A major revival of Terence Rattigan's play Man and Boy in London starring David Suchet and directed by Maria Aitken.
Rattigan's 1963 play Man and Boy, set in 1930's New York, confronts the relationship between a father and son against a backdrop of love, betrayal and high finance. The powerful financier Gregor Antonescu visits his estranged son, Basil, at his Greenwich Village apartment in New York in an attempt to extricate himself from the most catastrophic disaster of his career. After newspaper headlines report that the FBI are looking for Gregor, one by one his wife and business associates desert him. Only his son refuses to leave...
"Utterly compelling" The Daily Mail
The cast for Man and Boy in London stars David Suchet as 'Gregor Antonescu' along with Ben Silverstone, David Yelland, Colin Stinton, Helen Grace, Jennifer Lee Jellicorse and Will Huggins. The production is directed by Maria Aitken with designs by Simon Higlett, lighting by Mick Hughes and sound and music by Howard Davidson.
David Suchet: "A master-actor" The Financial Times
"If only Sir Terence Rattigan could have heard the cheers ringing around the theatre last night... only now, and for the very first time, has anyone got this play right. David Suchet rightly plays Antonescu as a charismatic tycoon of immense, mesmeric evil while the actress Maria Aitken directed, using not just the play as published but many earlier drafts. Yet it would be wrong to think of this solely as a drama for Rattigan addicts. This one is not just about the financial shenanigans of the late 1920s; its less obvious themes are homosexuality and the father-son relationship which were Rattigan obsessions, for reasons deeply buried in his own make-up... But if the stars here are director Aitken and Suchet, they are brilliantly supported by Ben Silverstone as the increasingly disenchanted son and David Yelland, as the tycoon's personal assistant with Helen Grace as the typist he has turned into a countess. It is a cracklingly emotional thriller." The Daily Express
"Although the play is not in quite the same league as his greatest work, most notably The Deep Blue Sea and The Browning Version, it offers further proof that Rattigan belongs among the finest British dramatists of the 20th century. Yes, its well-made construction now seems a little creaky; yes, at times the dialogue sounds a shrill and stagey note. But the play does two things that were always Rattigan's special forte: it enthrals its audience for two and a half hours and it penetrates the sad mysteries of the human heart to expose the terrible damage that love can do... [Ben Silverstone] provides the emotional core of the piece as the son who cannot stop loving the worthless father who has betrayed him. The sudden stammer he develops in his father's presence, his desperate need for the affection he will never receive, are beautifully caught. Maria Aitken directs a cracking production, with an especially fine support from David Yelland as Antonescu's brilliantly suave henchman. This time Man and Boy will surely prove the hit that Rattigan so desperately hoped for." The Daily Telegraph
"A considerable actor can make a great difference and, as his powerfully sardonic portrait of a bent financier shows, David Suchet is more than considerable. The play isn't a masterpiece, but this marvellous actor left me agreeing with Bernard Levin, who back in 1963 stood out from the critical pack and praised Rattigan for his "dramatic cunning, narrative power and above all his restless imaginative curiosity about the springs of human activity". Thanks to his theatrical alchemy, a potentially leaden play glistens with life... If you inspect the plot too closely, it seems faintly absurd... But at the Duchess you don't inspect it too closely. You're happy with the acting of all Maria Aitken's cast, but you're riveted by Suchet." The Times
Man and Boy in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 1 February, opened on 7 February 2005 and closed on 16 April 2005.