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To: Saturday, 15 November 2008
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Radical independent politician Henry Trebell is persuaded to join the Conservative Party in order to champion his Bill to Disestablish the Church of England and to use its funds to finance a vast education programme. But a liaison with a married woman, who dies after aborting their child, brings private scandal into the political arena. Written in 1907 but banned by the Lord Chamberlain, Waste received its first production almost thirty year’s later in 1936 at the Westminster Theatre. The 1907 version of this play was banned by the Lord Chamberlain, there is also a 1926 version.
3 October 2008
You could say that Waste by Harley Granville Barker is exactly the sort of play the National Theatre should be doing, and Samuel West’s magisterial, superbly cast revival at the Almeida – the first in London since Peter Hall’s Old Vic version in 1997 – has the unmistakeable clamour of an Edwardian political classic pressing all the right contemporary buttons.
The story is that of a high flying lawyer and impassioned independent MP, Henry Trebell, striking a deal with a Tory government on a bill to disestablish the Church of England while falling hopelessly in love with the wife of an interned Sinn Fein activist. The bill will allow churches to be turned over to education; Trebell’s dalliance threatens Home Rule policy. Echoes here of Gladstone’s cabinet and the siren Kitty O’Shea.
West uses a synthesis of the banned 1907 version (abortion was the issue, not Home Rule, apparently) and the 1926 re-write first seen on the stage ten years later and re...
Latest User Review
rds - 15 November 2008:
Apologies, I should have spelled his name - Keen....
Nancy Carroll (Amy O'Connell)
Will Keen (Henry Trebell)
Richard Cordery (Russell Blackborough)
Patrick Drury (Justin O'Connell)
Peter Eyre (Lord Charles Cantilupe)
Helen Lindsay (Countess Mortimer/Bertha)
Hugh Ross (Cyril Horsham)
Michael Thomas (George Farrant)