Browning Version / South Downs

South Downs and The Browning Version transfer to London’s Theatreland

Chichester Festival Theatre double bill comes to Harold Pinter Theatre from 19 April 2012

Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell reprise their roles in this
double bill

Following a critically acclaimed and sold out run as part of Chichester’s Festival 2011, the
double bill of Terence Rattigan’s one-act masterpiece The Browning Version and David Hare’s specially commissioned companion piece South Downs will transfer to Harold Pinter Theatre from April 19 with a press night on April 24.

Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell will once again lead the casts in these plays which
examine life in boarding public schools. Rattigan’s own Harrow School and Hare’s own Lancing
College provide the backdrop for two moving and resounding stories, one told through the
eyes of a master and one told through the eyes of a boy. Both revolve around unexpected acts
of kindness which place the harsh and at times cruel worlds of these schools into stark

Rattigan’s The Browning Version presents the retiring Classics master Mr Crocker-Harris, tired, dried up and an abhorred tyrant over his pupils. Stuck in a broken marriage and facing the prospect of a retirement with no money, a simple act of generosity by one of Crocker-Harris’ pupils brings out the deep-rooted dignity and heartbreaking sadness that give this play its

The Browning Version is directed by Chichester Festival Theatre Associate Angus Jackson whose credits at Chichester include Wallenstein, Funny Girl, The Waltz of the Toreadors and Carousel.

South Downs is set at Lancing College in Sussex where a pin sharp young pupil (a role reprised by young actor Alex Lawther, celebrated for this professional debut) is cut off from the rest of the school by virtue of his own intellect, background and questioning spirit. The school in response presents an unyielding and rigid outlook on life that leaves the boy isolated and
confused. In an unlikely meeting with the mother of another pupil, her generosity of spirit and sound advice present the boy with a world of kindness and possibility.

South Downs is directed by Jeremy Herrin whose work in 2011 included Joe Penhall’s Haunted Child (Royal Court), Death and the Maiden (Harold Pinter Theatre) and the critically
acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe). In 2007 Herrin directed the UK premiere of another play by David Hare: The Vertical Hour (Royal Court) as well as Polly Stenham’s That Face (also Royal Court), which later transferred to the West End.

 The Chichester Festival Theatre Production of

Anna Chancellor plays Belinda Duffield in South Downs and Millie Crocker-Harris in The Browning Version. She has recently been seen on screen as Lix in BBC 2’s drama The Hour and onstage as Lady Caroline Blackman in The Last Duchess (Hampstead Theatre). Her theatre credits include Creditors (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway), The Observer, Never So Good and Stanley (National Theatre and Broadway), for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. Previous television credits include Suburban Shootout, Spooks, Tipping the Velvet, Kavanagh QC and the role of Caroline Bingley in the popular BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which also featured Colin Firth. Film credits include the role of Duckface, Hugh Grant’s jilted fiancée, in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Nicholas Farrell plays Reverend Eric Dewley in South Downs and Andrew Crocker-Harris in The Browning Version. His theatre credits include West End productions of Birdsong, Kean and The Cherry Orchard. Other theatre credits include Stuff Happens and Dinner (National Theatre) and The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and Hamlet (all for the RSC). His film credits include Airey Neave in The Iron Lady, Bloody Sunday (directed by Paul Greengrass), Chariots of Fire, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and Hamlet. Television credits include the acclaimed production The Jewel in the Crown.

Joining Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell in the company are Jonathan Bailey, Andrew Woodall, Mark Umbers, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Bradley Hall, Rob Heaps, Alex Lawther and Liam Morton.

Theatre File
Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN
Previews from: 19 April 2012, 7.30pm
Press Night: 24 April 2012, 7.00pm
Performance Times: Mon – Sat at 7.30pm; Thurs and Sat at 2.30pm

About Simon Harding

Simon Harding has grown up in and around London's Theatreland and has been working here ever since he left school: promoting its shows to anyone who will listen!

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