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Previewed 22 September 2004, Opened 27 September 2004, Closed 15 January 2005 at the Garrick Theatre in London
A major revival of George S Kaufman's and Howard Teichmann's comedy The Sold Gold Cadillac in London starring Patricia Routledge and Roy Hudd.
Mrs Laura Partridge is an elderly lady. She holds a few shares in the General Products Corporation of America. Recently retired from the stage, she decides to use some of her new-found leisure time to attend a shareholders' Annual General Meeting. At first, the newly promoted senior management of the G.P.C.A. barely register her presence. But not for long - when it comes to confirming their massive salary increases by proxy vote, they find she has some rather awkward questions to ask....
The classic corporate comedy! Written and premiered on Broadway in 1953, The Sold Gold Cadillac is a sparkling satire from the golden age of American comedy about a small shareholder taking on big business - with unexpected results!
The cast for The Solid Gold Cadillac in London stars Patricia Routledge as 'Mrs Laura Partridge' and Roy Hudd as 'Edward McKeever' along with Teddy Kempner, Michael Elwyn and David Ross. It is directed by Ian Brown, the Artistic Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Roy Hudd's West End credits include Hard Times The Musical at the Haymarket Theatre in 2000.
"With fat-cat salaries and shareholder revolts in the news, now might seem a good time to revive this 1953 comedy by Howard Teichmann and George S Kaufman. But, although it is nicely performed, it doesn't so much satirise the greed and corruption of the American corporate world as give them a friendly poke in the ribs... The problem is that we've moved a long way since 1953... The two stars, however, are eminently watchable. Patricia Routledge as the heroine suggests a stocky shrewdness under the bumbling dither and delivers the play's few zingers - such as "I've never worked in my life, I'm an actress" - with exactly the right po-faced seriousness. Roy Hudd, looking like Sydney Greenstreet and sounding like Jimmy Durante, is also highly amusing as the Washington department boss with aspirations to the boards: his wildly semaphored rendering of a classroom fable about Spartacus and the Gladiators has the gamey whiff of old music hall." The Guardian
"It tells the story of how one lone, humble shareholder brings down an entire dodgy board of directors and becomes chairman of their corporation, despite having barely 10 shares to begin with. Originally on stage and screen she was played by a dizzy blonde (Judy Holliday) up against the brutal chairman of Paul Douglas, so the joke was the oldest one of David reducing Goliath to rubble. But for reasons known only to himself, director Ian Brown has here reversed that casting, so we now get the formidable Patricia Routledge as the shareholder with meek and mild Roy Hudd as her chairman. So from the very first moment the comedy is effectively finished: as soon as Routledge raises her hand with a question from the floor about the directors' salaries we know that their game is up. This lady does not take prisoners, and it is only a matter of time until she gets the top job and fires them all... So like the car of the title, this ends up as a motor-museum piece, top-heavy and useless on the road, in need of a new engine and an oil change and some new tyres, if not a complete overhaul." The Daily Express
"Why anyone thought that Howard Teichmann and George S. Kaufman's 1953 Solid Gold Cadillac was worth parking in the West End in 2004 defeats me. Even with the evergreen Patricia Routledge in the driving seat and Roy Hudd in the boot, this old banger was never going to pass its MoT... I can see that its theme, one little old shareholder taking on the corporate fat cats who pay themselves obscene salaries for simply turning up in the boardroom twice a year, may seem relevant. But the speed of comedy now expected in the theatre exceeds two jokes an hour... No one gets run over, but even the robust Ms Routledge looks flattened. I heard her say that if there isn't an audience for this show, she'd eat her hat. I fear she'll be swallowing all three of them, and that feather will take some digesting." The Mail on Sunday
"I don't think Howard Teichmann and George S Kaufman's 1953 comedy is quite as funny as Teichmann and Kaufman would have hoped, but it is a warm-hearted and entertaining piece... It's about a favourite American subject, the little man - in this case, a substantial woman -,standing up to the bosses. Patricia Routledge plays the small shareholder who upsets the greedy quartet running General Products Corporation, led by Michael Elwyn in a consummately elegant performance... Elwyn deserves star billing, up there with Routledge and with the hugely likeable Roy Hudd... He and Routledge give this show a sense of sly and generous warmth: a rare commodity in these Blairy days." The Sunday Times
The Solid Gold Cadillac in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 22 September 2004, opened on 27 September 2004 and closed on 15 January 2005.