Terence Rattigan had something of a penchant for the Double Bill and turned out no less than three beginning with this one-actor which originally shared the evening with The Browning Version in 1948. Possibly because The Browning Version is a masterpiece and without doubt the finest one-act play ever written it has, in its many revivals, invariably played unaccompanied - I have seen close to a dozen productions and only one when it played with Harliquinade. This Armchair Theatre production (viewed at the Mediateque) is probably as accomplished a version as any despite the feeling that the leads are not quite right. Edith Evans is the heaviest hitter on hand and extracts the last ounce of inside-joke from the word 'bag'. Charles Lloyd-Pack is also on hand at more or less the time he was passing on the torch to son Roger and Christopher Timothy has fun with his repetitious 'ow do' a nod to the Yorkshire vet waiting in the wings. Never intended as anything more than a solid curtain raiser it displays all of Rattigan's craftsmanship sprinkled with such drolleries as 'Which text are you using' from a bemused Denholm Elliott when accosted by the daughter he didn't know he had fathered.
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