Plays 4: Common Pursuit; Holy Terror; After Pilkington; Old by Simon Gray

By Simon Gray

Publish 12 months note: First released June tenth 2011

]'Sharp, humorous and shrewdpermanent . . . What a excitement to re-encounter a play that mixes unabashed intelligence and zinging wit with a unprecedented generosity of spirit.'
Daily Telegraph on The universal Pursuit

'Gray's stature as one of many handful of serious tragi-comic English dramatists of the second one 1/2 the 20th century would seem now to be undisputed.' Howard Jacobson, Critical Quarterly

Hidden Laughter

[b][/b]'A unhappy divine comedy, fantastically written. grey nurses his characters and cares for them, yet he by no means pampers them, or pities them, or presumes to exploit them as his spokesman. during this appreciate, he has develop into an English Chekhov... while, grey dispenses a few of the incandescent malice and ethical savagery of Coward at his acid best... yet, after all, comparisons can in simple terms assist you get your bearings. grey is totally his personal guy during this painful, querulous, hot, challenging and mature play.' Sunday Times

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Extra resources for Plays 4: Common Pursuit; Holy Terror; After Pilkington; Old Flames; They Never Slept

Sample text

Richard learned all the lines for all the actors in the production as “sole male understudy for the entire company” and was eventually assigned the role of the assistant stage manager and prompter. A supremely efficient understudy, Barr knew the show so well that he could prompt without a script. Nevertheless, he missed one cue entirely, being too busy counting the house, and left Welles “stranded” onstage. “Falstaff” caught Barr in the wings in his prompter’s position and questioned, “Where the hell is the book?

80 But hiding behind the celebration lurked financial disaster, because there were no RKO funds to hold the Mercury actors for The Smiler with a Knife until actual production. 81 Though Barr enjoyed the “vicarious thrill” of being the “major domo” of Welles’s affairs—running his household, working with the staff, and keeping track of his finances—it was clear that tension was mounting. One letter from Weissberger to Barr makes it clear that Welles did “not think of his income in concrete terms in relationship to his expenditures,” and Weissberger warned Barr from trying to secure local loans.

Richard explained that he wanted to be like Welles, an auteur director who reinterpreted and reassembled scripts to fit his own acting abilities. ”7 This lack of concern was key to his securing a position with the Mercury. 13 Playing with Martians The Mercury Theatre was already beginning the steep financial decline that would end with the disastrous production of Five Kings. Having been heralded the “boy wonder of Broadway,” Welles had seriously overreached with the production of William Gillette’s Too Much Johnson, in which he tried to interweave film footage in a theatrical setting.

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