Play by Terence Rattigan. Set in 1930's New York, Man and Boy 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...
1963: Premiere West End London Production with Charles Boyer
Opened 4 September 1963 (no previews), Closed 2 November 1963 at the Queen's Theatre
The cast featured Charles Boyer as 'Gregor Antonescu' and Barry Justice as 'Basil Anthony', with Jane Downs as 'Countess Antonescu', Austin Willis as 'Mark Harris', Geoffrey Keen as 'Sven Ericson', William Smithers as 'David Beeston', and Alice Kennedy Turner as 'Carol Penn'.
Directed by Michael Benthall, with designs by Ralph Alswang, and lighting by Joe Davis.
Prior to London this production was presented for a two-week run at the Brighton Theatre Royal from Monday 19 to Saturday 31 August 1963, with the same cast.
Following the limited West End run, this production immediately transferred to New York's Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway - previewed from 7 November 1963, opened on 12 November 1963, and closed on 28 December 1963 - with the same cast apart from Louise Sorel taking over as 'Carol Penn'.
The London West End production run for 69 performances. The New York Broadway production run for 54 performances, plus 5 preview performances (total 59 performances).
2005: 1st West End London Revival with David Suchet
Previewed 1 February 2005, Opened 7 February 2005, Closed 16 April 2005 at the Duchess Theatre
A major revival of Terence Rattigan's Man and Boy in London starring David Suchet
The cast featured David Suchet as 'Gregor Antonescu' and Ben Silverstone as 'Basil Anthony', with Helen Grace as 'Countess Antonescu', Colin Stinton as 'Mark Harris', David Yelland as 'Sven Johnson', Will Huggins as 'David Beeston', and Jennifer Lee Jellicorse as 'Carol Penn'.
Directed by Maria Aitken with designs by Simon Higlett, lighting by Mick Hughes and sound and music by Howard Davidson.
Colin Stinton's London theatre credits include 'Mr Robinson' in Terry Johnson's stage adaptation of Charles Webb's The Graduate at the Gielgud Theatre in 2000; 'Lieutenant Brannigan' in Richard Eyre's revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls at the Olivier Theatre in 1996; 'Eldon Pike' in Peter Wood's production of Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink at the Aldwych Theatre in 1995; 'George Scudder' in Richard Eyre's revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth at the Lyttelton Theatre in 1994; 'Jake Latta' in Richard Eyre's revival of Tennessee Williams' The Night Of The Iguana at the Lyttelton Theatre in 1992; and 'Bobby Gould' in Gregory Mosher's production of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow at the Lyttelton Theatre in 1989.
This London West End production run for 78 performances, plus 6 preview performances (total 84 performances).
Prior to London's West End this production was presented at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre - from 22 September 2004 to 2 October 2004 - followed by a seven-week regional tour, with the same cast apart from Emma Ferguson as 'Countess Antonescu'. Fritha Goodey was originally due to play the role of 'Countess Antonescu', but she sadly died from suicide on 5 September 2004.
"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
"While those of us who rate Terence Rattigan cannot help but be intrigued by anything he wrote, Man And Boy falls vastly short of his best. It concerns that familiar Rattigan theme of having an amoral monster for a father, as Rattigan himself did... When Antonescu turns up out of the blue, asking if he can hold a meeting with a business associate in Basil's bohemian apartment, Basil is clearly moved by the way his father picks out a particular shirt for him to wear. It's not until halfway through his father's negotiations with the secretly gay businessman, however, that Basil realises how he is being used. The situation is compelling enough, but the play sags beneath an implausible plot which has nowhere to go. The single reason for seeing this uneven production is David Suchet's devilishly good portrait of the manipulative and seductive Antonescu." The Mail on Sunday
"It is an implausible plot, to say the least, but a curiously powerful one. Another dramatist would have made more of the political background - Basil is vaguely left-wing - but he wouldn't necessarily have written a better play. Terence Rattigan concentrates on what he does best, the criss-crossing of love and power in private life, and the result is enthralling. So is the central performance in Maria Aitken's fine production. David Suchet's Antonescu is an unforgettable portrait of a mega-crook - sly, manipulative, formidable, a lot more sympathetic than he has any right to be. There's satisfying support, too, especially from David Yelland (Sven), Ben Silverstone (Basil) and Helen Grace, who is very amusing and brittle as Antonescu's trophy wife." The Sunday Telegraph
Man and Boy in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 1 February, opened on 7 February 2005, and closed on 16 April 2005.