Sunday, July 18, 2010

London Assurance, NT Live Presented by Third Rail (Grade A)

NT Live  is a HD broadcast of performances by The National Theater of London , Third Rail is hosting this series in Portland
Director Nicholas Hytner
by Dion Boucicault
Cool, a valet   .....   Nick Sampson
Martin, a man servant  .....   Richard Frame
Charles Courtly, Sir Harcourt's Son  .....   Paul Ready
Richard Dazzel   .....   Matt Cross
Sir Harcourt Courtly  .....   Simon Russell Beale
Pert, servant to the Harkaways   .....Maggie Service
Squire Max Harkaway   .....   Mark Addy
James, servant to the Harkaways  .....   Simon Markey
Grace Harkaway   .....   Michelle Terry
Mark Meddle, attorney at law  .....  Tony Jayawardena
Lady Gay Spanker   .....   Fiona Shaw
Mr. Adolphus Spanker   .....   Richard Briers
Mr. SOlomon Isaacs  .....   Junix Inocian
Doctor  .....   David Whitworth
Servants   .....   Mark Extance; Prasanna Puwanarajah
Doctor's Daughters   .....   Fiona Drummond; Laura Matthews

sez ...thank you Third Rail for hosting these broadcasts.  This was a hoot. It is a play from 1841 that holds strong in the 21st century, with disdain for lawyers;  parent's who have fantasies about who their children really are;  asking should you marry for love or money;  presenting women who are smarter thatn all the men around them; and providing a array of characters that are much bigger than life--and, most important, who are all played to perfection..
I don't remember when I enjoyed any single performance by an actor more than I did Simon Russell Beal's  Sir Harcourt Courtly. His physical presentation of this character was a full blown delight.  And Fiona Shaw's Lady Gay Spanker blew the top off any other possible presentation that could ever be of this wild woman...who even circa 1841 is presented as wearing the pants in her family--and happily so according to her husband. 
The story does not seem to matter a bit (we all know wht is going to happen) - the fun is in the characters--and it is quite possible that they could have been doing anything, in any story, and they would have been fun to watch. 

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