Booking from: Thursday, 11 May 2017
Booking until: Saturday, 1 July 2017
Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Produced to perfection by the awesome Trevor Nunn, Love In Idleness enjoys an all-star cast including Eve Best as Olivia Brown, star of TV's Stan Lee's Lucky Man. Edward Bluemel plays her son Michael Brown and Anthony Head Sir John Fletcher, her wealthy lover. With a set and costumes from Stephen Brimson Lewis, lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Gregory Clarke, there's a treat in store for Rattigan fans and comedy lovers alike.
This production is a hybrid of Love In Idleness and Less Than Kind, which was the play's original title. Nunn has merged the two versions in an effort to preserve the political gist of the original, with startlingly good results. In fact the first act is so beautifully done that audience members have been spotted actually squirming with discomfort, a mark of genuinely exceptional cringe-comedy.
What's the story? Eve Best's character, Olivia Brown, is a widow. She's living openly with the married cabinet minister Sir John Fletcher. When her seventeen year old son Michael, a dedicated socialist, returns home from Canada where he was evacuated for safety, he is disgusted to discover his beloved mother's lover in situ. He is not a nice boy, which makes the play even more entertaining.
Edward Bluemel plays a tremendous Michael. Anthony Head is horribly, wonderfully convincing as the married lover. Helen George plays Sir Fletcher’s pert wife with exactly the right attitude. Genuine wartime news footage sets the scene to perfection. And apparently, Eve Best is absolutely brilliant in her role as the sexy, flirtatious, restless and unexpectedly perceptive Olivia. Altogether fantastic, not to be missed.