Nicholas Wright’s sharp play imagines the US touring production of the first black Othello and its aftermath in the uneasy years of the McCarthyite search for Communist sympathisers.
There are probably not many people left alive who remember the controversial coast to coast US tour of Othello from 1944. It was remarkable for two reasons. Singer and political firebrand, Paul ‘Ol’ Man River’ Robeson was playing the lead and, as a black man, he was sharing the stage with a white, Desdemona.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2019 has been announced by artistic director Daniel Evans. It includes John Simm & Dervla Kirwan in Macbeth, Hugh Bonneville in Shadowlands & Tim Firth’s first solo musical starring James Nesbitt.
Jonathan Kent directs the premiere production of Nicholas Wright’s play Slaves of Solitude, adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s story and running at Hampstead Theatre until 25 November 2017. Find out what critics have been saying with Love London Love Culture’s round-up of the reviews.
The Slaves of Solitude is set in the winter of 1943. We are in the Rosamund Tea Rooms boarding house, in Henley-on-Thames.
Miss Roach is played by the ever-marvelous Fenella Woolgar and she’s partnered by Lucy Cohu, another favourite actress, and there are moments in this gently played Second World War-set story that shimmer with effectiveness.
If you need relief from the current outbreak of extreme social primness about male behaviour, you’re going to love the bit with Clive Francis, as the elderly Mr Thwaites, going batshit-bonkers on pickled walnut Martinis when tempted by the generous Teutonic cleavage of Lucy Cohu’s Miss Kugelmann.
Hampstead Theatre’s new autumn season includes the world premiere of Terry Johnson’s Prism, starring Robert Lindsay, Nicholas Wright’s adaptation of Patrick Hamilton novel The Slaves of Solitude and a revival of Simon Gray’s Cell Mates.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.