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Told in flashback, Giles Cole’s interesting new play sees an ailing Terence Rattigan (just before his death in 1977) looking back on a life of constant privilege.

But critical acclaim was cut short in the mid 50’s when the Angry Young Men erupted onto the Royal Court stage.

Covertly gay at a time when homosexuality was still illegal, and once referred to as “the prettiest playwright in London”, he is portrayed as extravagant but determinedly aloof, a man who put work first and reputation above the chance of love and happiness.

Dominic Tighe is well cast as the elegant, arrogant younger Rattigan, wallowing in the closet company of his sycophantic coterie but sending his lovers home before morning, and Graham Pountney camps it up as a bitchy director.

And although Cole can’t match Rattigan’s masterly skill as a writer, he does a more than adequate job of probing below the surface of the public face of the self-assured Harrow schoolboy, World War II airman, apparently eligible bachelor and toast of the town who became a disgruntled older man when his looks and success faded.

Jermyn Street Theatre
020 7287 2875
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Untill January 28 


The Art of Concealment - review
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