Public Taste Is Suspect: Official

The Arts

The 2011 Olivier Awards gave a 70 year-old forgotten Terence Rattigan play, ‘After The Dance’ four awards last night, which suggests that Rattigan is finally coming to be recognised for his brilliant work again, after years in the wilderness.

The rehabilitation of Rattigan’s reputation began with the Almeida’s revelatory 1993 revival of The Deep Blue Sea. Famously closeted, he reworked several of his major plays as straight stories prior to opening because he felt they would please more audiences.

Rattigan was fascinated with the life and character of T. E. Lawrence. In 1960 he wrote a play called Ross, based on Lawrence’s expoits. Preparations were made to film it, and Dirk Bogarde accepted the role. However, it did not proceed because the Rank Organisation withdrew its support, not wishing to offend David Lean, who had started to film Lawrence of Arabia. Bogarde called Rank’s decision “my bitterest disappointment”.

Other 2011 Olivier Awards included Legally Blonde (the sharp script was surprisingly underrated on Broadway) and Clyborne Park as best new play. Best Actor went to Roger Allam as Falstaff in Henry IV parts 1 and 2 at the Globe – he praised their £5 ticket pricing system.

The Railway Children, which was performed at Waterloo station, won best entertainment. Stephen Sondheim’s special relationship with London was acknowledged with a lifetime award presented by Cameron Mackintosh and Angela Lansbury, and the astonishing open-air production of Into The Woods (reviewed on this site) also picked up a gong.

BTW, if you go to the Regent’s Park site, you’ll soon find this ‘Into The Woods’ production available to download.

The public vote, the only award chosen by audiences, went to We Will Rock You, which shows why the public should never be allowed to vote for anything. Remember that, David Cameron, with your Big Society idea.

3 comments on “Public Taste Is Suspect: Official”

  1. Porl says:

    Interesting stuff about Rattigan!

    I was at the West yorkshire Playhouse’s 21st Anniversary Party on Friday and saw The Deep Blue See – fantastic production with Maxine Peake being brilliant!

  2. Helen Martin says:

    There was a production here of something called “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea”. Would that be the same thing or a reference to…?

  3. Helen Martin says:

    The Deep Blue Sea was on tv the other night but I missed it. Could have answered my own question.

Comments are closed.

Posted In