WHEN We Are Married has been revived at the Whitehall Theatre and what an auspicious choice and production to reopen this finely refurbished theatre, which itself is not much older than the play.
When a London audience enjoys a play, it is not reluctant to show its appreciation. It did so despite the fact that the play was written nearly 50 years ago, but then the author is J B Priestley.
The Whitehall Theatre has had a reputation for comedy. It was the home of "Worms Eye View" and many a Brian Rix comedy. This play is in the very best tradition of comedy.
Ronald Eyre has directed the play impaccably and has assembled a quite excellent cast. The three married couples about to celebrate the anniversary of their weddings, only to discover that they were invalid, are played by Patricia Routledge and James Grout, Prunella Scales and Timothy West and Elizabeth Spriggs and Brian Murphy.
Bill Fraser as Henry Ormonroyd, a press photographer from the local
Yorkshire paper, has managed to acquire an uncanny likeness to J B Priestley, who himself played the part for a few performances in the original production.
I must also mention Terry Parsons who has designed the setting of 75 years ago with such artistry as to draw immediate applause from the audience when the curtain rises.
Across from the Garden of Allah at the Comedy Theatre is both the title and setting of Charles Wood's play. Despite the skill of Glenda Jackson and Nigel Hawthorne, their delivery of the playwright's gibes at Hollywood is not enough to make it a play. It is a clever commentary on the artificiality of the celluloid capital, but without a plot it is very inadequate as a play.
At the Globe Theatre Lend Me a Tenor is pure (that maybe an inappropriate word) and amusing bedroom farce with a team led by Denis Lawson.