Best known for his TV appearances in the likes of Citizen Smith, My Family and Jericho, Lindsay’s stage credits include Me and My Girl, Oliver!, Cyrano de Bergarac, Richard III and Power (his last London stage appearance, at the National in 2003). Sean Holmes’ production also stars John Normington as Archie’s dad Billy Rice, Emma Cunniffe as his daughter Jean, David Dawson as his son Frank, and Pam Ferris as his long-suffering alcoholic wife Phoebe.
Set in the 1950s in a society on the brink of change and at war over the Suez Canal, Osborne's drama follows an embittered and struggling music hall comedian trying to keep a semblance of happiness within his dysfunctional family.
Overnight critics were hugely impressed with Lindsay’s performance in the central role, and admired the way his wittiness and bitterness both spilled over from his act into his family life. They also noted how Osborne’s play was ahead of its time, as, 50 years after it was written, the parallels between life then and life now – with war in the Middle East and families worrying about the safe return of their soldier sons – are startlingly clear.
- by Caroline Ansdell