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June 13th - June 17th
A West Yorkshire Playhouse and Curve co-production in association with Simon Friend & Gavin Kalin Productions
A Play Adapted by Terry Johnson
Based on the Novel by Charles Webb
And the Motion Picture Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry
Starring Catherine McCormack
★★★★★ “…often laugh-out-loud funny and beautiful from start to finish” The Yorkshire Post
★★★★ “A smart revival with a satirical edge and a brave performance by Catherine McCormack.” The Stage
★★★★ “A splendid comedy” Daily Mail
★★★★ “Quite simply as perfect as you could wish. A wonderful…a first-class homage to one of cinema’s finest hours.” Daily Telegraph
★★★★ “An undoubted theatrical success. Fast and funny.” Sunday Telegraph
★★★★ “Absolutely sensational…An evening of theatrical delight.”Evening Standard
– Benjamin, I am not trying to seduce you!
– I know that.
– Would you like me to seduce you?
Iconic characters from Charles Webb’s novel and the classic film are brought to life in this hilarious black comedy and moving coming-of-age story.
Benjamin returns from college to high expectations of a bright future in aspirational, middle-class America. The only trouble is, the thought of that future makes him sick to his stomach. When he meets another disillusioned soul in his parents’ best friend Mrs Robinson, their illicit relationship takes them on a thrillingly destructive course that threatens everyone’s future happiness.
Inspired by a memorable soundtrack of sixties songs, don’t miss this stylish new production by acclaimed director Lucy Bailey, in the first major revival since its West End premiere.
Catherine McCormack, playing Mrs Robinson, has worked extensively in film, television and theatre. She is best known for her starring roles in the multiple Academy Award-winning film Braveheart with Mel Gibson, and Spy Game with Brad Pitt, as well as receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her role in All My Sons at the National Theatre, alongside Julie Walters.
Starring opposite her is Jack Monaghan as Benjamin, who has played the lead role in the record-breaking West End production of War Horse, as well as featuring in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror and Richard Curtis’ film About Time.
The cast is completed by Emma Curtis playing Elaine, Tom Hodgkins as Mr Braddock, Rebecca Charles as Mrs Braddock and Richard Clothier playing Mr Robinson.
A West Yorkshire Playhouse and Curve co-production
Ticket price includes a £1 contribution to our heritage fund.
Choice Radio Worcester
Poor Benjamin. Coming up to his 21st birthday, this young, naive man's future seems to be set out for him by his parents rather than by his own desires. Obviously well-educated, he has, however, no intention of carrying through that education into a career, preferring to set off and travel and meet "real" people (though this amounts to a trip which lasts just over a week). An unexpected, an initially unwelcome, encounter with family friend Mrs Robinson, is set to change all that...
For this is The Graduate, initially a novel by Charles Webb but more famously a Mike Nichols' film now celebrating 50 years since its release in 1967. On celluloid, it was of course Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman as the worldly-wise older woman and her young beau, roles taken here by Catherine McCormack and Jack Monaghan, both on excellent form and utterly convincing.
With a double bed on stage for much of the time (used for portraying various locations) and a backdrop which cleverly uses projected images to convey emotions and various scenes, the pair set off on a relationship which you know is doomed to failure and yet you hope each will get something out of it. Mrs Robinson is in an apparently loveless marriage and Benjamin is very much an innocent beginner, ready to be seduced into the ways of the world, hating what he is doing and yet not wanting to stop.
Humour runs through the entire show with lines such as "You're the most attractive of my parents' friends" - hardly a glowing testimonial to the person he is going to spend a couple of months of "quality time" with - which certainly lightens the mood of a story which, if written differently, could have been quite serious and dark, given its subject matter.
And at no point do you compare the actors on film with those on stage - each made the role their own in the different media, successfully portraying a scenario where ages collide, the age gap being irrelevant for at least a period of time and it is more the circumstances and other people which get in the way - such is life! This is a very enjoyable new adaptation of a classic story.
Whilst The Graduate plays on the main stage until Saturday, Edward Fox stars in Sand In The Sandwiches as John Betjeman at the Forum until Thursday only.