South Downs is a 2011 play by the British playwright and author David Hare. It is set in 1962 in a public school, similar to Hare's own school, Lancing, in the South Downs.It is a response to Terence Rattigan's 1948 play The Browning Version and was commissioned by Rattigan's estate to mark Rattigan's Centenary.
It premiered alongside a revival of Rattigan's The Browning Version from 2 September to 8 October 2011 at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester (the small auditorium of the Chichester Festival Theatre). The two plays were directed separately by Jeremy Herrin (South Downs) and Angus Jackson (The Browning Version).
The plays re-opened after a sell-out run at Chichester, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, on 24 April 2012 for three-months.
A radio version was produced for BBC Radio 4, broadcast on 1 September 2012. It was also directed by Jeremy Herrin, produced by Catherine Bailey, and performed by the original cast members.
|Role||Premiere Cast, 14 September 2011|
Minerva Theatre, Chichester
|London Premiere Cast, 24 April 2012 |
London, Harold Pinter Theatre
|John Blakemore||Alex Lawther|
|Rev. Eric Dewley||Nicholas Farrell|
|Belinda Duffield||Anna Chancellor|
|Basil Spear||Andrew Woodall|
|Jeremy Duffield||Jonathan Bailey|
|Colin J.T Jenkins||Bradley Hall|
|Tommy Gunter||Jack Elliot||Tom Spink|
|Roger Sprule||Liam Morton||Liam Morton|
Harold Pinter was a British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. A Nobel Prize winner, Pinter was one of the most influential modern British dramatists with a writing career that spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party (1957), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. His screenplay adaptations of others' works include The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1971), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Trial (1993), and Sleuth (2007). He also directed or acted in radio, stage, television, and film productions of his own and others' works.
Samuel Alexander Joseph West is an English actor, theatre director and voice actor. He has directed on stage and radio, and worked as an actor across theatre, film, television and radio. He often appears as reciter with orchestras and performed at the Last Night of the Proms in 2002. He has narrated several documentary series, including five for the BBC about the Second World War.
Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan was a British dramatist and screenwriter. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others.
The Browning Version is a play by Terence Rattigan, seen by many as his best work, and first performed on 8 September 1948 at the Phoenix Theatre, London. It was originally one of two short plays, jointly titled "Playbill"; the companion piece being Harlequinade, which forms the second half of the evening. The Browning Version is set in a boys' public school and the Classics teacher in the play, Crocker-Harris, is believed to have been based on Rattigan's Classics tutor at Harrow School, J.W. Coke Norris (1874–1961).
The Deep Blue Sea is a British stage play by Terence Rattigan from 1952. Rattigan based his story and characters in part on his secret relationship with Kenny Morgan, and the aftermath of the end of their relationship. The play was first performed in London on 6 March 1952, directed by Frith Banbury, and won praise for actress Peggy Ashcroft, who co-starred with Kenneth More. In the US, the Plymouth Theater staged the play in October 1952, with Margaret Sullavan. The play with Sullavan subsequently transferred to Broadway, with its Broadway premiere on 5 November 1953, and running for 132 performances.
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The Harold Pinter Theatre, known as the Comedy Theatre until 2011, is a West End theatre, and opened on Panton Street in the City of Westminster, on 15 October 1881, as the Royal Comedy Theatre. It was designed by Thomas Verity and built in just six months in painted (stucco) stone and brick. By 1884 it was known as simply the Comedy Theatre. In the mid-1950s the theatre underwent major reconstruction and re-opened in December 1955; the auditorium remains essentially that of 1881, with three tiers of horseshoe-shaped balconies.
The 2012 Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced on 25 November 2012. The shortlist was revealed on 12 November 2012 and the longlist on 29 October 2012.
Alexander Jonathan Lawther is an English actor. He made his professional acting debut originating the role of John Blakemore in Sir David Hare's South Downs in the West End. He made his feature film debut playing a young Alan Turing in the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game (2014), for which he received the London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year" and was declared one of BAFTA's 2015 Breakthrough Brits.
2011, Chichester, Minerva Theatre
2012, London, The Harold Pinter Theatre