Terence Rattigan is having a big revival in London theatre recently, with productions of his plays The Winslow Boy, Flare Path, After the Dance, The Browning Version and many more staged in London over the last couple of years to coincide with his centenary. Now the innovative Finborough has revived his 1958 play Variation on a Theme.
Set in the luxurious French Riviera in the same era, the play charts the course of a passionate love affair between Rose Fish and Ron Vale. She is a beautiful socialite and he a ballet dancer who may or may not be using Rose to get ahead in the world.
Tragedy is a forté of Rattigan's (for a truly heartbreaking romance, see the film Deep Blue Sea) but in this work, he also tackles subjects such as closeted homosexuality - which were intended to shock the audience of the 50s. But at its heart, it is a love story. For as Rattigan himself described the two lead characters: "Two self-sufficient people meet and find they need each other."
The socialite Rose is played by actress of the moment, Rachael Stirling, who has been starring in the TV series The Bletchley Circle about post-war women codebreakers. The daughter of Diana Rigg, Stirling has a successful theatre background, accruing two Olivier nominations for her work in The Priory at The Royal Court and An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville.
The director Michael Oakley will be quite at home in the fringe space of the Finborough, having directed or assisted in venues such as The Southwark Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and Chichester Festival Theatre. He won the prestigious JMK Award (in honour of the late James Menzies-Kitchin) in 2008 which enables directors to produce a classical piece of their choosing; in Oakley's case, he made the bold choice of Edward II.
Rattigan's plays never disappoint and with an exciting young director at the helm and a talented actress in the cast, we think Variation on a Theme will be well worth watching.
|What||Variation on a Theme, Finborough Theatre|
118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED | MAP
|Nearest tube||West Brompton (underground)|
25 Feb 14 – 22 Mar 14, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£14 - 18|
|Website||Click here to book via the Finborough Theatre|