Thursday, 27 December 2012

Larry (theatre)

A new one-man-play from Chancel Productions is coming to the Underground Theatre in January. You might remember their magnificent The Man With The Golden Pen, the Ian Fleming play that came to the Lamb Theatre last May? The new work, entitled Larry, recreates two episodes in the life of Laurence Olivier and will be performed by Keith Drinkel. It has also been written by The Man With The Golden Pen playwright Mark Burgess, and, as the previous script was so good, I have high hopes for Larry! Another reason to tempt you to go is that the director is Nigel Fairs who recently did such wonderful work directing Secret Honour and will also fairly soon be acting again in Eastbourne again in My Gay Best Friend.

Larry begins in 1975 as Laurence Olivier is recovering from serious illness that might have meant the end of his acting career. However director John Schlesinger has just offered him the role of Nazi dentist Christian Szell in the film Marathon Man. As he prepares for his first day of shooting Olivier reflects on his past and considers the future.
Act Two revisits Olivier a few years later as he is about to start filming a television version of King Lear. Only too aware that this will be his last great role, he reflects on all the work he has done since Marathon Man, his final days at his beloved National Theatre, and his lengthy battle with attacks of terrifying stage fright.


Keith Drinkel has a long stage cv with recent highlights including touring his own one-man adaptation of The Picture Of Dorian Gray, and starring as the eponymous Signalman in a tour of an adaptation of Dickens' famous ghost story. His recent television performances were Bob, Liz Macdonald's dodgy boyfriend in Coronation Street and Terry Kinney in Midsomer Murders. 

Underground Theatre, Fri 25th Jan, 19:30.
Tickets £10 (£9 members and concessions), available online, by calling 0845 680 1926 or in person at the Underground Theatre and the Tourist Information Centre.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know quite what to make of the Larry performance we saw on Friday. The script itself was very interesting, full of information about Laurence Olivier that I didn't know. However Keith Drinkel was, for some unknown reason, incredibly nervous. Watching him verbally stumbling was disconcerting and the play certainly lost a lot of its atmosphere because of this. I think I need to see Larry again with a polished performance in order to really judge the play. A shame.

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