|The Browning Version|
|Written by||Terence Rattigan|
|Characters||Taplow, Andrew Crocker-Harris, Frank, Mrs Crocker-Harris|
|Date premiered||8 September 1948|
|Place premiered||Phoenix Theatre, London|
|Setting||A British public school|
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). 
Andrew Crocker-Harris is a classics teacher at an English boys' school. After eighteen years of teaching there, today is his last day before moving on to a position at another school. The students speculate on why he is leaving, but do not much care since despite being academically brilliant, he is generally despised as being strict, stern and humourless. They have nicknamed him "The Crock". Even the school administrators treat him poorly regardless of his long tenure. Millie Crocker-Harris, his wife, is younger and vivacious and quite different from her husband. She no longer loves him but instead loves Frank Hunter, another teacher, yet despite having an affair with him she knows that he is not in love with her. On this last day, one student named Taplow, who does not hate Crocker-Harris but feels sorry for him, gives him a small going-away gift – a copy of the translation by Robert Browning of Aeschylus's ancient play Agamemnon. The gift brings about a series of actions which make Crocker-Harris reflect on his past, contemplate his future, and evaluate how he is going to finish his tenure at the school.
In the original production, Crocker-Harris was played by Eric Portman, and his wife by Mary Ellis.  Barry Jones took over the role of Crocker-Harris, with the run ending on 9 April 1949.  Reviews were enthusiastic, with the play being hailed as "a 70 minute masterpiece." 
Decor by Paul Sheriff.
In 1949, the play was performed on Broadway, opening on 12 October at the Coronet Theater on 49th street with Maurice Evans and Edna Best.  The play and its companion-piece Harlequinade failed to find favour with New York critics (with Time calling it "bilge"), and it closed after 62 performances.   Peter Scott-Smith as John Taplow was the sole member of the West End cast to reprise his role on Broadway. 
Scenic design by Frederick Stover.
The Royalty Theatre produced the play in the West End of London with its counterpart Harlequinade in 1988, starring Paul Eddington and Dorothy Tutin as Andrew and Millie Crocker Harris, with a stellar supporting cast including Jean Anderson, John Duttine, Daniel Beales, Jack Watling and Simon Shepherd. It was directed by Tim Luscombe.
The Theatre Royal Bath put the play on in 2009 in a double bill with Chekhov's one-act play Swansong , both starring Peter Bowles.  A production at the Chichester Festival Theatre (alongside South Downs , a new play written in response to it by David Hare) marked Rattigan's centenary in 2011.  The same double production of The Browning Version and South Downs ran at London's Harold Pinter Theatre from April through July 2012 and starred Nicholas Farrell as Crocker-Harris and Anna Chancellor as Millie. 
The play has been adapted twice for the cinema, and at least four television versions. The 1951 film version, starring Michael Redgrave as Crocker-Harris, won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival, one for Rattigan's screenplay (with which he lengthened the original stage version for the final speech), the other for Redgrave's performance.  It was remade in 1994, starring Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Greta Scacchi, Matthew Modine, Julian Sands and young Ben Silverstone.  A British television production was broadcast in 1955, starring Peter Cushing as Crocker-Harris.[ citation needed ] John Frankenheimer directed John Gielgud in a 1959 television version for CBS.  In 1960, Maurice Evans repeated his Broadway role for CBC Television under the sponsorship of Ford of Canada in their Startime series.  Another made-for-TV version in 1985 starred Ian Holm as the main character for the BBC. 
A radio version was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in June 2011. It was directed by Martin Jarvis, and featured Michael York, Joanne Whalley, Ioan Gruffudd and Ian Ogilvy.  An earlier version was broadcast on the BBC Home Service in September 1957. It was directed by Norman Wright and adapted by Cynthia Pughe with John Gielgud, Angela Baddeley, Brewster Mason and Anthony Adams. 
A staged reading was performed on 3 April 2012 at The Players Club in New York City, presented by TAPT (The Artists' Playground Theater), directed by Alex Kelly and starring Matthew Dure', Robert Lyons, Nichole Donje' Jeffrey Hardy, Steven Hauck, Max Rhyser, Jessica Beaudry and Kate Downey. 
Dame Dorothy Tutin, was an English actress of stage, film and television. For her work in the theatre, she won two Olivier Awards and two Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress. She was made a CBE in 1967 and a Dame (DBE) in 2000.
Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan was a British dramatist and screenwriter. He was one of England's most popular mid-20th-century dramatists. 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.
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.
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.
The Winslow Boy is an English play from 1946 by Terence Rattigan based on an incident involving George Archer-Shee in the Edwardian era. The incident took place at the Royal Naval College, Osborne.
Man and Boy is a play by Terence Rattigan. It was first performed at The Queen's Theatre, London, and Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York, in 1963, with Charles Boyer starring as Gregor Antonescu. It was poorly received, with a limited London run and only 54 performances on Broadway; but was revived by Maria Aitken in 2005 at the Duchess Theatre, London, with David Suchet as Gregor Antonescu, to great acclaim. Maria Aitken again directed the play for Roundabout Theatre Company on Broadway in the fall of 2011 at the American Airlines Theatre starring Tony Award winner Frank Langella as Antonescu.
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Benjamin Arthur Flemyng, known professionally as Robert Flemyng, was a British actor. The son of a doctor, and originally intended for a medical career, Flemyng learned his stagecraft in provincial repertory theatre. In 1935 he appeared in a leading role in the West End, and the following year had his first major success, in Terence Rattigan's comedy French Without Tears. Between then and the Second World War he appeared in London and New York in a succession of comedies.
Terence Christopher Gerald Rigby was an English actor with a number of film and television credits to his name. In the 1970s he was well known as police dog-handler PC Snow in the long-running series Softly, Softly: Task Force.
The Phoenix Theatre is a West End theatre in the London Borough of Camden, located in Charing Cross Road. The entrances are on Phoenix Street and Charing Cross Road. The Phoenix Theatre was built on the site of a former factory and then music hall Alcazar before.
The Browning Version is a 1951 British drama film based on the 1948 play of the same name by Terence Rattigan. It was directed by Anthony Asquith and starred Michael Redgrave. In 1994, a remake was made starring Albert Finney.
Mary Barbara Jefford, OBE was a British actress, best known for her theatrical performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Old Vic and the National Theatre and her role as Molly Bloom in the 1967 film of James Joyce's Ulysses.
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Thea Sharrock is an English theatre and film director. In 2001, when at age 24 she became artistic director of London's Southwark Playhouse, she was the youngest artistic director in British theatre.
Harlequinade is a comic play by Terence Rattigan.
Robin Midgley was a director in theatre, television and radio and responsible for some of the earliest episodes of Z-Cars and for the television version of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Wars of the Roses.
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.
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