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September 9th - September 14th
Anthology Theatre, Simon Friend & Curve present
Starring Shane Richie, Diana Vickers and Sara Crowe
Directed by Sean O’Connor
1982: Archie Rice is a washed-up entertainer playing a summer season. As his soldier son sails with the Task Force to liberate the Falklands, his daughter Jean returns from campaigning against the war, and Archie’s professional and personal lives collide with devastating consequences.
Shane Richie takes on the role memorably created on stage and screen by Laurence Olivier, alongside Diana Vickers and the Olivier award-winning Sara Crowe.
For the first time since its premiere in 1957, John Osborne’s classic is given a vibrant new setting and an electric new vision in Sean O’Connor’s exciting production.
From the writer of Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer was chosen as one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century by Michael Billington (chief theatre critic of The Guardian).
Age Guidance: Recommended 12+
Running time: approx. 2 hours 20 minutes (including interval).
“One of the most iconic roles in theatre” Daily Telegraph
“If there was ever a state-of- the-nation play, this is it.” The Guardian
“The Entertainer is as British as a seaside postcard with as much to say today as it did then.” Evening Standard
“A landmark state-of-the-nation play.” The Observer
Production photographs by Helen Murray
Yet another Fabulous night at Malvern With The Entertainer. And Wonderfully portrayed by The Very Versatile SHANE RICHIE who portrayed the Life of An on the Way down the ladder Comic ARCHIE RICE
This Production had it all Comedy,Satire ,Happiness' and Sadness .With Shane and the cast playing there roles Beautifully.
If you haven't Booked yet Do it now I know you will not be Dissapointed
A brilliant production. The whole cast were excellent. Shane Ritchie played Archie Rice a failing entertainer whose career was on a downward slide had financial woes and a dysfunctional family but who tried to block out his failures with alcohol and humour. Sarah Crowe as the put upon Phoebe gave a very believable performance. A family tragedy brings things to a head.Shane Ritchie’s versatility in this role is impressive. He takes the audience from laughter to tears with impressive skill. Well worth seeing
I went to the first performance of The Entertainer on Monday and would just like to say I thought it was marvellous. A wonderful production of a great play what more could I ask for. Thanks
Trelawney of the Wells
A pleasure to welcome a play to this address after what feels like a surfeit of musicals - and not only that, but a play that is challenging and can be quite an uncomfortable watch. But sadly, despite the updating of this production to the '80s against the background of the Falklands War, 'The Entertainer' feels past its sell-by date. Its unflinching portrayal of a drunken, frustrated family was undoubtedly shocking and ground-breaking in the mid-50s, but this sort of thing fills our TV screens these days and now just comes across as mundane. Even Archie's act has lost its power to shock (except perhaps the moment with the blow-up doll!). Archie as a symbol of a nation in decline is potent enough, but the director's claims of the play's relevance to today don't really hold up.
The Falklands connections worked well enough, though the visuals over-egged the pudding somewhat (how many Sun headlines did we need to get the point?), and Shane Richie was surprisingly good as Archie - despite the character's multitude of failings, he managed to bring out his humanity too.
Sometimes the little things make or break a production - the play starts on a Friday (the text tells us this). So why is Billy watching the football results on the TV? I couldn't get that out of my head for the rest of the show. There was also something wrong with the pacing - Act 1 was relentless, desperately in need of some changes of gear. Act 2 was much better, partly because we are then less anchored to the Rice's claustrophobic living room.
I'm not anti-updating (I've seen many a successful Shakespeare set in different periods), but the text has to have a timelessness and universality to make it work.
A fantastic play set in the early 80's. The whole cast were excellent throughout but Shane Ritchie stood out as a class act. The second time we've seen him in after previously seeing him as Roy Grace in a Peter James play. Both times he's been just brilliant. Thoroughly recommend you see The Entertainer especially if the 80's were your era!
Thought-provoking and affecting, this clever production works very well in its later setting. Brilliant acting from the cast and Shane Richie was truly outstanding.
See it if you can.