Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Country Girl

To see the new production of Clifford Odets' The Country Girl at the Theatre Royal Bath, ahead of a West End run at the Apollo Theatre. Martin Shaw is compelling as Frank Elgin, the faded actor whose alcoholism and self-delusion destroyed a promising career, with Jenny Seagrove his icily supportive and long-suffering wife, Georgie. When Bernie Dodd (Mark Letheren) is determined to revive Frank's career in a new play in Boston, he has to battle not only with the actor's loss of confidence but with his own misapprehensions about the nature of his relationship with Georgie. This often bleak tale had Bing Crosby, William Holden and Grace Kelly in the 1954 film version - it is finely acted by all the current cast, and benefits from an imaginative set. Rufus Norris's direction provides a worthy revival that should be a success on the London stage.

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