- This event has passed.
Rough Crossing by Tom Stoppard
March 5th - March 9th
Bill Kenwright presents a brand new production of one of the most hilarious and brilliant plays by Tom Stoppard, Tony and Oscar award-winning writer of Arcadia, Travesties and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
The star cast is led by John Partridge, winner of this year’s Celebrity Masterchef, well known to TV audiences as EastEnders’ charismatic Christian Clarke, and one of West End theatre’s most prolific leading men (A Chorus Line, Chicago, and La Cage Aux Folles). Starring alongside John is Olivier-award nominee Charlie Stemp, fresh from his Palladium and Broadway triumphs (Hello, Dolly!, Half a Sixpence). They are joined by West-End star Issy van Randwyck (Fascinating Aïda), comedy TV favourite Matthew Cottle (Game On, The Windsors), Holby City’s Rob Ostlere (Arthur Digby) and Simon Dutton, TV’s Simon Templar (The Saint).
Two famous playwrights, one jealous composer, an unorthodox waiter, and a mistimed lifeboat drill… let the sharp Atlantic winds turn to gales of hysterical laughter as our colourful characters become tantalisingly tangled in a Stoppardian string of absurd events…
Ticket price includes a £1 contribution to our heritage fund.
Production photos by Pamela Raith
An adaptation of Hungarian Molnár Ferenc’s "Játék a kastélyban" ("Play at the Castle") by Czechoslavakian playwright Tomáš Straussler is staged in Malvern this week. Not familiar with it? Ok - maybe it's better known as "Rough Crossing" by Tom Stoppard, a comedy with music written in 1984.
Set aboard the ocean liner SS Italian Castle (on quite a sumptuous two-level set which evokes the golden age of transatlantic travel), two famous writers Turai and Gal (John Partridge and Matthew Cottle) are stuck rehearsing and re-writing their latest play, not helped by their music composer Adam (Rob Ostlere) wanting to end it all after hearing his beloved Natasha (Issy Van Randwyck) seemingly declare her love for the leading man Ivor (Simon Dutton). Then there is the all-knowing Dvornichek (Charlie Stemp) - shortened to Murphy for reason which become clear in the first few minutes - a waiter who rather amusingly takes every possible chance to exuberantly down the drinks destined for his guests.
It’s a kind of combination of slapstick, comedy, songs, deceit and confusion where Partridge’s effeminate character and Stemp's ebullient waiter are both played to exaggerated levels which would be just as appropriate in a farce. The play is gently amusing rather than laugh out loud hilarious, with a Two Ronnies-type conversation at the start (misinterpreting the answers to questions) and making fun of Adam’s temporary speech impediment. There is also at one point an unexpected and somewhat tasteless joke about incest which seems rather out of place but maybe that's the 80's for you!
It is particularly poignant to see the show this week as the music for it was written by eminent composer André Previn - or Andrew Preview as Morecambe and Wise would have it - who sadly passed away a few days ago at the age of 89.
I feel traumatised after sitting through 2 hours of such enormous rubbish. Too much dialogue, spoken too fast meant that large portions of the script was missed. Considered not going back after the interval, people either side and in front were more sensible than us as their seats were empty for the second half. I could hear from comments made by departing audience that they were not impressed. By agreeing to host shows like this, the theatre is ruining it's reputation.
Dreadful play - why on earth revive it? We also nearly left at the interval, but decided to stay, and wished we hadn't.
THE FIRST THAT STRIKES YOU IS THE ART DECO SET ON A OCEAN LINER
ALTHOUGH THIS WAS NOT ONE OF TOM STOPPARDS BEST THERE WERE IN MY OPINION TWO VERY GOOD ACTING PERFORMANCES FROM CHARLIE STEMP AND THE VERY TALENTED JOHN PARTRIDGE . THIS PRODUCTION WILL NOT BE EVERY ONES CUP OF TEA, I STILL ENJOYED THE EVENING
Very disappointing. Difficult to follow conversation as spoken too quickly. Acting was poor and the second half was dreadful.
Excruciating. Nice set, passable acting let down by a dreadful script that as a comedy simply wasn't funny. I heard one titter in the half hour we managed to last before walking out. Don't bother.
This was I am sorry to say Dull and completely missable. Talked too quickly and jokes were lost! Too many words. Sorry to say could not bear to sit through act 2.