Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi and Sophie McShera star in The Entertainer at the Garrick Theatre.
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborneʼs modern classic conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford directs Kenneth Branagh as the unforgettable Archie Rice.
The Entertainer is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year and forms part of the Kenneth Branagh season of plays. It will play a limited season from 20 August 2016 until 12 November 2016 at the Garrick Theatre.
The Entertainer, John Osborne’s post-war drama, is a devastating portrait of fictional vaudeville hoofer Archie Rice, middle-aged and angry, whose downfall has reduced him to playing in a seedy seaside revue in a crumbling music hall. Osborne used the travails of Archie Rice and his family as a way of commentating on the decline of the British Empire and the troubles in the middle east – issues which just as relevant today.
The role of Archie was created for Laurence Olivier by Osborne, at Olivier’s request and premiered at the Royal Court in 1957, since then revivals have starred Max Wall, Peter Bowles, Corin Redgrave and most recently Robert Lindsay at the Old Vic (2007).
The cast includes Kenneth Branagh (Archie Rice), Gawn Grainger (Billy Rice), Greta Scacchi (Phoebe Rice), Jonah Hauer-King (Frank Rice) Sophie McShera (Jean Rice), Phil Dunster (Graham), Pip Jordan (dancer), Crispin Letts (Brother Bill) and Kate Tydman (dancer).
Directed by Rob Ashford with set and costume by Christopher Oram, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Christopher Shutt and composed by Patrick Doyle.
★★★★ “Kenneth Branagh dances in Olivier’s shoes” Telegrapgh
★★★★ “his best performance of the season.” Time Out
★★★★ “Intense, powerful production of Osborne’s evocative portrait of a man – and a nation – in freefall” The Stage