One doesn’t gush orrrrfen but I feel I have to about The Chalk Garden at the Donmar Warehouse, which I saw last night.
You might have thought this was creaky old war horse and wondered why Michael Grandage dug it up, but it turns out to be best re-discovery on the London stage since “Absolute Hell”. Probably the best play that will be on this year. Beautifully written, like a cross between Wilde and Albee and hilariously funny.
All the cast are top of their game. Why Penelope Wilton and Margaret Tyzack aren’t Dames already is beyond me. For those who watch tv it also has Clifford Rose from Secret Army, playing yet another authority figure.!
Paddy Angle – the part of Miss Madrigal was created by Oirland’s own Siobhan McKenna, on Broadway in 1955, for which she was Tony nominated. Not a girl to have her head turned she decided to forego the bright lights and return to her native land where she went on to become even more revered than the Blessed Virgin Lady. It premiered on Broadway because Binkie Beumont didn’t have faith in it, until of course it became a hit after which he snapped it up.
Posh angle – The author Enid Bagnold was Samantha Cameron’s grandmother. She married the Chairman of Reuters became Lady Jones and had lots of servants thus enabling her to write beautifully. Brecht could have written a parable about it.
THE CHALK GARDEN. THE DONMAR WAREHOUSE.