Larkin With Women
From: Wednesday, 29th March 2006
To: Saturday, 29 April 2006
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It's 1956 and Philip Larkin, one of England's most loved and popular post-war writers, has just arrived in Hull as the University Librarian. Over the next 30 years, his life there will be dominated by three women. In this funny and touching play we see behind the facade of 'the Bard of Humberside' and into his extremely complex private life. Winner of 2000 Barclays Theatre Award for Best New Play.
3 April 2006
There’s been a lot of Larkin about in recent years, from Tom Courtenay’s one-man show Pretending to Be Me to the BBC’s 2003 film Love Again with Hugh Bonneville. In many ways, though, Ben Brown had the jump on all of them, his 2000 play having already surfaced to award-winning effect at the Stephen Joseph in Scarborough. Six years on Alan Strachan’s production arrives at the Orange Tree with half its original cast and all its charm intact, due in the most part to Oliver Ford Davies’ wry and touching portrayal of a Philip Larkin whose genius went hand in hand with a love life Casanova might have envied.
The notorious Venetian lothario earns a mention here; after all he, like Larkin, was a librarian whose literary output was overshadowed by his extracurricular activities. In Brown’s play, though, they are at least afforded equal significance, the poet’s on-and-off affairs with three women – lecturer Monica Jones (Carolyn Backhouse), library assistant Maeve...
Latest User Review
220.127.116.11) - 2 April 2006:
An entertaining and captivating biographical piece about Larkin the poet and the women in his life. Oliver Ford-Davies and his three co-stars develop their characters well and successfully tackle the challenge of moving on 30 or so years in 2 hours. I found the design a bit cluttered and cramped and the scene breaks sometimes so long (necessary for costume changes which are themselves necessary for period changes) that they interfered with the dramatic flow. However, it's well worth the trip to Richmond to this most enterprising and welcoming of theatres. ...