Once in a Lifetime
From: Monday, 5th December 2005
To: Saturday, 11 March 2006
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A classic 'showbiz' comedy from the 1930s. Two vaudevillians, George and Jerry, down on their luck, decide that the advent of 'the talkies' is their chance to make 'Big Money' in Hollywood. Astutely manipulated by their 'better third', the enterprising May Daniels, they set off for Los Angeles with its legion of would-be writers and starlets. A chance encounter on the train leads to May claiming to be voice coach to Lady Tree and their adventures begin. Her male companions, however, have rather more difficulty in keeping up the act Kaufman and Hart's inside knowledge of the entertainment industry lends their satire an edge and originality which made them the most successful comic writing partnership in the American theatre. The parade of humorous types in the film industry, which they parody with such skill, gives an hilarious glimpse into motion pictures in their early days.
16 December 2005
If you get a sense of déjà vu while watching Once in a Lifetime, Moss Hart and George S Kaufman’s 1930 Broadway comedy about the early days of talking pictures in Hollywood that has now revived as the Christmas show at the National’s Olivier, then it’s no surprise. That’s because we have been here before, on this very stage just five years ago, when the West Yorkshire Playhouse stage version of Singin' in the Rain – the 1952 MGM screen musical quite flagrantly “inspired” by it – transferred from Leeds. (And, more recently, as in just last year, the same musical was revived at Sadler's Wells with Adam Cooper).
For those with longer memories, it will seem even more familiar. London’s last revival of the play was staged by the RSC it at the Aldwych (where the company was then based) in 1979 and subsequently transferred to the Piccadilly - starring none other than David Suchet, as it does again now, as a larger-than-life film stud...
Latest User Review
220.127.116.11) - 1 March 2006:
Yes, thank goodness - only once in a lifetime. Truly awful- the only true emotion felt for the show was feeling embarassed on behalf of the cast members who didn't seem very comfortable in their roles. However, if you're only interested in style rather than content then this show should suffice....
David Suchet (Herman Glogauer)
Victoria Hamilton (May Daniels)
Adrian Scarborough (George Lewis)
Caroline Sheen (Susan Walker)
Marcia Warren (Mrs Walker)
Issy Van Randwyck (Helen Hobart)
Jonathan McGuinness (Lawrence Vail)
Inika Leigh Wright