From henceforth . . . No verse!
I will say it as I see it, I will say it like it is,
Plain prose, unadorned
No frills, no iambics, no alexandrines, no relentless rhythm, no fancy word juggling. No couplets with a rhyme bomb ticking away. Philinte, if I am to act according to what I believe I must speak as I live, truthfully, directly and a plague on those who would be discomforted.
This of course leads to several comic moments when he accidentally forgets, or he needs to stop and substitute a word because the best one to use is one that frustratingly does rhyme. It was a very clever and witty rendition (McGough has previously translated two Moliere plays) and a good, fast-paced production with a cheeky modern twist at the end, a sort of theatrical wink that I really loved. It's on at the Playhouse until March 9th and I believe is touring the UK afterwards. It's well worth seeing.
People which is a lovely antidote to the soap opera that is Downtown Abbey. What happens to those huge historical manors when the families die out (or their wealth does) and they can't afford the upkeep? Bennett posits a couple of options, from leaving it in the hands of the National Trust to renting it out to film crews involved in more sordid undertakings than what goes on at Highclere Castle. And when a character called Brit is literally getting screwed in the background, well, the metaphoric possibilities are endless.
Currently on at the National Theatre in London, and starring Frances de la Tour and Linda Bassett, the production is one that will be broadcast live at cinemas around the world in April, including Liverpool's FACT. And yes, I have booked my ticket - can't wait!