South Downs / The Browning Version

David Hare / Terence Rattigan

South Downs / The Browning Version

These moving and resounding stories, one told through the eyes of a master and one through the eyes of a boy, both revolve around unexpected acts of kindness which place the harsh worlds of these schools into stark contrast. 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
South Downs / The Browning Version

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Harold Pinter Theatre
Director Jeremy Herrin / Angus Jackson
Cast Nicholas Farrell, Alex Lawther, Andrew Woodall Anna Chancellor
From April 2012
Until July 2012
Box Office 0844 871 7622
 

These moving and resounding stories, one told through the eyes of a master and one through the eyes of a boy, both revolve around unexpected acts of kindness which place the harsh worlds of these schools into stark contrast.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Fiona Mountford

Hare perfectly captures the posturing, questioning and awkwardness of adolescence, and we only wish the piece could go on longer. If it did, though, we wouldn’t get to The Browning Version, which would be disastrous as this play packs more truths about the human condition into 70 minutes than most other dramas could manage in a month.

25/04/2012

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The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

Stepping back into the remorselessly moronic 21st-century after this splendid evening, I felt a pang of regret. We have become so anti-book. We put learning in the ‘too hard’ basket. We scorn seriousness because it intimidates us. We think ourselves so free and easy - wahey! - but, in fact, we are captives of crassness.

15/09/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

If South Downs is a very good play, The Browning Version is an indisputably great one, and I have never seen it better staged than it is here by Angus Jackson. While Hare’s play focuses on a schoolboy, Rattigan explores the life of a desiccated classics master, Andrew Crocker-Harris, who is retiring early because of ill-health ... If you can sit through this play dry-eyed you must be made of steel.

25/04/2012

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The Times

Dominic Maxwell

Hare, the director Jeremy Herrin and the designer Tom Scutt create a living, breathing school with a cast of eight, a wood-panelled set and minimal props. There are pithy and relishable references to art and literature and politics and religion, but this is ultimately about allowing emotion into that line-up too. It’s a whipsmart marvel of a production. If, at first, Rattigan seems creaky by comparison, the ideas eventually dig deep in Angus Jackson’s fine production.

26/04/2012

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The Observer

Emma John

Hare's play feels more of a vignette than a dramatic narrative; it's Angus Jackson's direction of The Browning Version that really captures the way change can proceed from the smallest of gestures.

29/04/2012

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The Stage

Ben Dowell

Like Rattigan’s play, Hare’s drama hinges on an act of kindness, this time the unexpected care shown to an awkward young boy by the mother of one of the prefects. Hare creates lots of laughs in a way the traditional play which accompanies The Browning Version (Harlequinade) often fails to - exploiting to the full the hilariousness of the public school system. But it is a fitting accompaniment to the Rattigan, evoking as it does the pain of the outsider, even if the difficulties here are of a boy faced with the worries about growing up rather than the regrets of a life nearing its end.

25/04/2012

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The Independent

Michael Coveney

Hare responded to a commission by the Terence Rattigan estate to find a better pairing for The Browning Version than the backstage farce Harlequinade, now rendered superfluous by Frayn’s Noises Off – you get a composite picture of post-war public school life that alarms and satisfies in equal measure.

25/04/2012

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