Pacific Resident Theatre
THE BROWNING VERSION
by Terence Rattigan
William Dennis Hunt
Michael Redfield &
Directed by Marilyn Fox
Associate Director, Dana Dewes
Produced by Sara Newman-Martins
Set Design by Norman Scott
Lighting Design by William Wilday
Costume Design by Audrey Eisner
Sound Design by Christopher Moscatiello
Stage Manager – Miguel Flores
Terence Rattigan lives at Pacific Resident Theatre
Culture Monster – Los Angeles Times
Masterful” … “A stellar mounting”
GO! LA Weekly Amazing performances” … “Elegant” …
“Superb” — CRITIC’S PICK –
Amazing performances” …
“Superb” — CRITIC’S PICK –Backstage
I’d been aware of The Browning Version since high school. I’d seen the title in a dozen anthologies and play collections but I’d never taken the time to read it. Several months ago, I finally spent an afternoon reading the play in a coffee shop. When I finished it, I had to put my head down on the table and cry because I was so touched by the beauty of what I had read. In a mere 80 minutes of continuous stage time, Terence Rattigan manages to reveal the soul of a human being. Quite a feat. I hope our production will honor his work and deliver his play to you with clarity, care and craft.
Pacific Resident Theatre
703 VENICE BLVD (4 BLOCKS WEST OF LINCOLN)
VENICE, CA 90291
“Terence Rattigan’s 1948 masterpiece about a schoolmaster who must give up his 18 year post at an English public school, brilliantly explores the complexity of the human heart. It predates Albee’s ”Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in its scathing examination of a marriage. A contemporary of Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham, Rattigan’s wit and depth remain timeless.”
TERENCE RATTIGAN was one of the most successful English playwrights in history – his work applauded by critics and audiences, his wardrobe, cars and parties catalogued in the popular press.
From the light comedy “French Without Tears” in 1936 to the poignant double bill “Separate Tables” 20 years later, he captivated everyone with a string of gold-plated hits: “Where the Sun Shines,” “Love in Idleness,” “The Winslow Boy,” “The Browning Version,” “The Deep Blue Sea.” For nearly five straight years in the 1940’s, three adjacent theatres in London’s West End were occupied by Rattigan successes.
His plays were gentle, sympathetic, often brilliant studies of middle-class men and women in emotional distress – decent people caught up in intense relationships (triangles, father-son conflicts) in which emotions and passions were decisively sublimated. Rattigan’s themes were intensely personal ones – “the illogicality of love, the conflict between heavenly and earthly love, the pain of loss of promise, the defeat of greatness by human foible.”
But these and other motifs remained beneath the surface of his work, to be apprehended through skillfully crafted story and carefully observed character. “From Aeschylus to Tennessee Williams,” Rattigan rashly wrote in 1950, “the only theatre that has ever mattered is the theatre of character and narrative.”
Like many of his characters, Rattigan “lived a life of disguise and concealment,” presenting himself to the world as urbane and assured while privately suffering a pervasive fear of failure, a feeling that his early success was a fluke.
In recent years, however, the West End has seen superb revivals of Rattigan’s “The Deep Blue Sea,” “Separate Tables;” and the excellent “The Winslow Boy” was directed as a film in 1999 by David Mamet.