Very Much Worth Seeing

20 May 2008 16:02 #1109384293 by Rosemary
Replied by Rosemary on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing

Please forgive me for answering a post that wasn't actually addressed to me, but could I just put my twopennorth in? There is one thing that might explain the sometimes stilted language used and the rather Jeeves-and-Woosterish overtones. This was not meant to be a reflection of today's Britain, which, I think, is vastly different. Quartermaine's Terms was, if I'm not mistaken, originally set in the 1960s. The types of school and teacher created - and some of the attitudes - have, I think, virtually gone the way of the dodo and the dinosaur in the UK of 2008.

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20 May 2008 16:16 - 20 May 2008 17:30 #1109384294 by webmistress
Replied by webmistress on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing
Hi Rosemary

It's OK to discuss for everyone here. But hey, this play has been written in 1981 or something like that. I think Gray's had a reason to point out a certain superficiality that is very much present in today's western societies - NOT just the UK. Maybe he used a disguise - placed in 1960 to point us to something in our "modern" times that's really not that modern at all??? Just my two penny's worth :silly: What I'm dwelling on is that we're seeing a very much universal play about archetypes of "our times" here. Someone everyone knows and can relate to, just like you said somewhere earlier... or like a NY Times critic of years ago once wrote in regard to Quartermaine: "While Quartermaine may look and act like a fool, we never doubt that somewhere within that hollow-looking shell hides a lonely man, bleeding."

BTW Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves was written back in 1962 - also in those days a parody on the stilted ways of some upper class England that was long gone by then and believed to be a cliché ;)



"I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. And something else. [...] I forgot it."
~ Armand Gamache

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." A simplified version of Occam's razor.
Last edit: 20 May 2008 17:30 by webmistress.

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20 May 2008 22:53 #1109384299 by subject
Replied by subject on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing
I too welcome you to this forum Rosemary. Happy you saw the play and enjoyed it so much. Would love to be able to see it, but living in the states a problem. You will enjoy the fans here.


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21 May 2008 08:58 #1109384303 by tigger
Replied by tigger on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing
Thank-you, everyone, for your comments about the play and the experience of seeing it.

I saw it a few nights ago, and was deeply moved by Nat's performance. He never fluffed once. Some of the others did, and it was good to see how they all supported each other through it. I think Nat's work in this role is absolutely beautifully done. Like some of the others, I laughed but I was teary-eyed: Quartermaine speaks loudly and clearly to me.

Further to the discussion of the play itself: I don't think that characters themselves are stilted, though. I think that the way most of the other actors delivered their lines (absolutely not Nat, though!) was stilted and stagey. Perhaps their voices don't carry as easily as his does (those low baritone tones), but he was completely natural, which allowed him to be extremely subtle and delicate in his portrayal of this lovely but overlooked person. Like Rosemary, I just wanted to hug poor St John, and tell him that, really, he's a far nicer person than any of the other characters.:)

It's good that so many people from the Forum either have or are going to see the play. I'm sure he must appreciate all the support.


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21 May 2008 09:19 #1109384304 by AnitaDian
Replied by AnitaDian on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing
Hello everyone!

I don't think that I can add anything to what has been said.

I'm sure Nat is pleased that the play has encouraged everyone to share their views. I think that you're all right, that there were many cliches in the characters and references, and that this type of attitude is less likely to be tolerated in British, and in fact everywhere else, today.

I'm afraid that I'm unable to write anything more coherently as I am suffering from pregnancy brain (even though my baby is four months old!)!


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23 May 2008 08:28 #1109384317 by Sunshine
Replied by Sunshine on topic Re:Very Much Worth Seeing
Hello everybody,

I got the chance to see Quartermain's terms earlier this week so here's my view on this great play.

Walking into the theatre I noticed Nat (in character) sitting on stage before the play actually started. He was sitting there so quietly one could mistake the Royal Windsor Theatre for Madame Tussauds.

As spring term starts we meet all the teachers as they enter the staff room one after another. Every one of them did a remarkable job in letting the characters come to life. Some are clumsy, dramatic, dreamy, distant, … but all were great.

The actors and actresses were very convincing in the way they let us look into the private lives of their characters. Bit by bit we discovered how each and everyone experiences problems in their daily life.
To me at first St. John (Nathaniel) seemed the happiest character in his own small world. His colleagues take advantage of him (but doesn't seems to realize) which made me angry at times wanting to step on stage to do two things. First of all shake St. John awake and urge him not to put up with this any longer. Secondly step up to criticize the colleagues and tell them to stop taking advantage of the naïve, sensitive but lovely St. John.

As the play evolves, months pass and the teachers share more of their lives with us. To be honest … back at the hotel I was still thinking about it and still new things kept popping up. Lots of things happened on stage but others only surfaced later on and gave me even more sympathy and concern for St. John.

I’m not going to reveal the end but I can already say that Nat played this part very subtle and very convincing … so much that I felt so sorry for St. John … so much that I would have climbed on stage to give him a warm hug telling him everything will work out (if only he had been a real person).

It was a great performance with dazzling long lines, lots of humour, great mimicry, emotions, … and also a really nicely build stage and crazy outfits from the seventies.
Maybe I can even compare it to a rollercoaster ride …. So much fun but it ended to soon….


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