Satire on the wealthy
Described as a ‘baroque comedy’, The Ruling Class begins with the suicide of the thirteenth Earl of Gurney. His sole surviving heir is a paranoid schizophrenic, Jack, newly released from a mental institution and prone to donning a monk’s habit and insisting he is is Jesus. But Jack is not the only unhinged person in this family: There's Uncle Charles who’s trying to marry Jack off to his own mistress, Charles’ wife who’s sleeping with Jack’s psychiatrist and a host of other relatives who think they are entitled to the Gurney’s estate. As Mr Tucker, the butler, and only voice of reason, puts it, “They got the power, they make the rules.” This is a scalding satire on aristocracy and the elitist class. The play was such a success when it premiered in 1968, Peter O’Toole purchased the rights and went on to star as Jack in the film adaptation.
James McAvoy: theatre 2015
McAvoy thrives on playing flawed heroes, on both stage and film. The Independent was enthralled by his performance as the Scottish king: “his beyond-it-all husky chuckling finely traces the stages by which Macbeth comes to the near-suicidal recognition that the cosmic joke is on him.” And his moving screen performances as a grief-wracked soldier in Atonement and in Inside I’m Dancing, as a young man confined to a wheelchair, prove his versatility.
Jamie Lloyd, director
Lloyd too is ever on the rise, with direction of the upcoming Back to the Future musical in his sights next year and the success of his Trafalgar Transformed season that has included Jane Horrocks in East is East and Martin Freeman as Richard III. “I am honoured to be directing the first ever revival of Peter Barnes’ anarchic cult comedy,” he says, “Which feels more politically resonant than ever in the run up to the general election next year.”
More tickets will go on sale on the 2nd February, 2nd March and 2nd April.
|What||The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios|
|Where||Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
16 Jan 15 – 11 Apr 15, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via ATG Tickets|