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1st Night Photos: Garden Flowers & Afterlife at NT

By • West End
Enid Bagnold’s Fifties West End comedy The Chalk Garden received its first major London revival in over 30 years in a production opened last night (11 June 2008, previews from 5 June) at the Donmar Warehouse, where it’s directed by artistic director Michael Grandage and runs until 3 August (See News, 31 Oct 2007).

In a manor house by the sea where the flowers struggle to grow, 16-year-old Laurel runs wild. As her eccentric grandmother Mrs St Maugham tends to the garden, Laurel’s need for love forces her into a fantasy world, but things begin to change with the appointment of mysterious new governess, Miss Madrigal.

John Gielgud directed Edith Evans and Peggy Ashcroft in the critically acclaimed West End premiere at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1956, the same year that John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger famously launched a very different theatrical era of working-class kitchen sink drama and “angry young men”. Author Enid Bagnold remains best known for her 1935 novel National Velvet. The titular garden was inspired by Bagnold’s own at North End House in Rottingdean.

At the Donmar, Margeret Tyzack stars as Mrs St Maugham, Penelope Wilton as Miss Madrigal and Felicity Jones as Laurel, with Steph Bramwell, Linda Broughton, Suzanne Burden, Jamie Glover and Clifford Rose also in the cast. The production is designed by Peter McKintosh.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE CHALK GARDEN’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

The night before (4 June 2008, previews from 27 May), Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was across the river at the National Theatre where, five years after Democracy, playwright Michael Frayn, director Michael Blakemore and actor Roger Allam have reunited for the world premiere of Frayn’s latest play Afterlife, which runs in rep in the NT Lyttelton until 14 August (See News, 7 Apr 2008).

Afterlife investigates the life of the Austrian impresario and founder of the Salzburg Festival, Max Reinhardt (Allam). Each year at Salzburg, Reinhardt directed the morality play Everyman, about God sending Death to summon a representative of mankind for judgement. Then in 1938 Hitler sends Death into Austria where Reinhardt, a Jew, is left as vulnerable as Everyman himself and must now face judgement himself.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF AFTERLIFE’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to AFTERLIFE
on 4 August 2008 – including a FREE drink & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A
click here to book now! **


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