Hytner told The Times today that most of the veteran male critics who wrote for daily newspapers were unable to see past the gender of female directors such as Rice (See Today’s Other News). According to Hytner, “it’s fair enough to say that too many of the theatre critics are dead white men.”
Based on Powell and Pressburger’s classic 1946 film, A Matter of Life and Death follows the romance of radio operator June and war pilot Peter who, having cheated death after jumping from a blazing plane, must plead his case for life in a heavenly tribunal. It’s adapted by Tom Morris and Emma Rice, who also directs. The cast features Tristan Sturrock (as Peter), Lyndsey Marshal (June), Douglas Hodge and Theatre Vesturport’s Gisli Orn Gardarsson. The second production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier, A Matter of Life and Death runs in rep until 21 June 2007.
While all reviews were quick to compare the stage version with the film original (in most cases considering the latter superior), the overall critical consensus seemed unmoved rather than scathing, with only two critics conducting a direct assault on the Rice and Morris adaptation.
- by Malcolm Rock