Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, February 02, 2024

The Hills of California @ Harold Pinter Theatre...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Jez "Jerusalem" Butterworth's new play The Hills of California at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's glitzy West End.
Directed by Sam Mendes the play is principally set in the sweltering backstreets of Blackpool in the sizzling hot summer of 1976.
Far from the choc ices and donkey rides of the seafront the four Webb Sisters are returning to their mother’s run-down guest house, as she lies dying upstairs.
The sisters, played fabulously by Laura Donnelly, Leanne Best, Ophelia Lovibond, and Helena Wilson, are all failures in their own way. 
To see why, the action jumps back 20 years or so where we find the girls' overbearing mother trying desperately to get the four girls into show business as a quartet. Think mother Rose from Gypsy. Pushy and bullying she forces the girls to dance and to sing like the Andrews Sisters. Yes, she dreams big.
Things go very awry at an audition however when a predatory agent takes a shine to just one of the girls.
Back in 1976 the recriminations and jealousies come fountaining out.
The play is very funny, full of great one-liners, yet achingly sad too.
"My brother's got five cocks - his pants fit him like a glove!"
The guest house is called 'Sea View'. "It’s just I’ve looked out of every window, and you can’t. You can’t see the sea."
Butterworth does faded charm very well. People and places past their sell-by date.
The four sisters are joined admirably by supporting cast members Bryan Dick, Shaun Dooley, Corey Johnson, Richard Lumsden, Natasha Magigi, Nancy Allsop, Sophia Ally, Alfie Jackson, Lara McDonnell, Lucy Moran and Nicola Turner.
Definitely worth seeing.  The 3 hours running time flew by.


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