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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Aristocrats "good to see this companion piece to Translations revived at the Donmar." @DonmarWarehouse...

Last Friday night Stuart and I went to see Brian Friel's Aristocrats at the Donmar Warehouse in London's glitzy Covent Garden.

With Friel's Translations about to close at the National, it was good to see this companion piece revived at the Donmar.

The plot revolves around Irish stately home Ballybeg Hall - a place that once played host to grand balls, musical evenings, tennis parties: its rooms busy, bursting with painters, poets and politicians. And presiding over all of it was the imposing figure of Judge O’Donnell, the patriarch, a former judge, who is a stricken figure whose authoritarian ramblings we hear through a baby monitor.

Now, on the eve of a wedding, the O’Donnell children return to their ancestral home to find that the rot has set in.

But all is not what it seems. The son (expertly played by David Dawson) seems to have one too many tall tales to tell. The three Chekhovian sisters - one a careworn coper, another a London-based lush and the third a chronic depressive (beautifully played by Eileen Walsh, Elaine Cassidy, and Aisling Loftus) - all have their tales of woe.

Lyndsey Turner returns to the Donmar following Faith Healer to direct Brian Friel’s again. The staging it perhaps somewhat meta for my taste though - a bare stage with a small dolls house serving as the only prop.

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