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Less Than Kind by Terence Rattigan

premičre at Jermyn Street Theatre

This will mark the first production during the Terence Rattigan Centenary Year (1911 – 1977).

This unseen play will have its premičre at Jermyn Street Theatre from Tuesday 18 January for a four week season to Saturday 12 February 2011.

In the cast are Michael Simkins (Sir John Fletcher), Sara Crowe (Olivia Brown), Caroline Head (Diana Fletcher), David Osmond (Michael Brown), Katie Evans (Polton), Vivienne Moore (Miss Dell). It is directed by Adrian Brown, design by Suzi Lombardelli with lighting and sound by Justin Emrys-Smith. It is produced by Planet Theatre Productions Ltd and Alex von Saxe Productions Ltd in association with Jermyn Street Theatre.

Less Than Kind is the original 1944 play which was extensively rewritten for Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne with the title ‘Love in Idleness’ / US title ‘O Mistress Mine’.

The plot concerns Michael Brown, an idealistic socialist 17 year old who on his return from five years’ evacuation in Canada during World War Two, is horrified to find Olivia, his widowed mother living with Sir John Fletcher, a married Tory MP and industrialist. The play centres on Olivia’s anguish as she is torn between her love for her son and for her lover.

Terence Rattigan wrote 25 stage plays, plus numerous one-act plays, radio, television and film scripts. His plays include The Browning Version, The Winslow Boy and Separate Tables. His films include The Prince and the Showgirl, The VIPs and The Yellow Rolls Royce. His plays are continually performed worldwide.

Michael Simkins’ most recent credits were as Roland in Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Taking Steps’ at the Orange Tree and in the Royal Albert Hall production of ‘The King and I’ in 2009. Other roles include in ‘Enron’ and ‘Donkey’s Years’ at the Comedy in 2007. He will be seen in the new BBC series of ‘Lead Balloon’ with Jack Dee. He is a regular newspaper columnist and author. Sara Crowe has recently been in ‘Bedroom Farce’, and in ‘Calendar Girls’ at the Noel Coward Theatre. Film roles include in ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’. David Osmond was in ‘The History Boys’ at the National. He was in Craig Revel Horwood’s Award winning production of ‘Spend, Spend, Spend’ at the Watermill Newbury and has just been in the tour of ‘Lark Rise To Candleford’ with Sara Crowe.

Director Adrian Brown received an Emmy Award for the TV version of ‘The Belle of Amhurst’ with Claire Bloom. He has directed for television and theatre throughout his career. Most recently he has directed ‘Wild Oats, ‘The School For Wives’ and ‘The Spanish Tragedy’.

Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street SW1 Y 6ST. Box Office 020 7287 2875
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Sat mat 3.30pm Running time 2 hrs 20 mins
Tickets Ł18.00, Ł14.00 concs
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

30 January 2011