After a long break, our next Play reading kindly led by Paul Tracy (Oriel), will be John Osborne's "The Entertainer".
John Osborne wrote The Entertainer at the request of Laurence Olivier in 1957. Olivier had seen Look Back in Anger at the Royal Court the year before, and asked Osborne to write a part for an “angry middle-aged man”. Osborne chose to pay tribute to the English music-hall tradition, a dying art at this time. The play’s premiere at the Royal Court in 1957 caused a stir as it was unusual for a star of Olivier’s stature to act in such a modern play at that time.
The action of the play takes place in the Rice household in a coastal resort. Archie Rice is an unsuccessful music-hall impresario, like his father before him. His theatrical posturing is constantly overflowing into his personal life and his rapport with father, wife, son and daughter. The play is really a series of music-hall routines masking the disintegration of a family, whose members no longer have much in common. Dialogue moves very fast from one subject to another, giving the impression that nobody is really listening to the others. The family is united in their anticipation of the imminent return of Mick, the younger son, from National Service in Suez.
Members who would like to attend should come armed with hard, or soft, copies of the play. There will be a participation of €10 per person, payable in cash on the evening.