Edward Fox: Trollope in Barsetshire

2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

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Even ardent lovers of Anthony Trollope’s gently amusing Victorian novels about provincial ecclesiastical politics, ‘The Chronicles of Barsetshire’, will struggle to get excited about this plodding stage version.

Performed by an impressively bearded Edward Fox, with sonority, but too little variation of tone, director Richard Digby Day’s adaptation lacks flair or imagination. Set in a book-lined study, it consists chiefly of the recitation of large chunks of the books, with no more than the most cursory allusion to the plot, characters or even titles.

In the same leisurely and soporific manner, Fox delivers extracts from Trollope’s autobiography, including some less-than-thrilling details of the author’s work for the Post Office, which involved long train journeys during which he conceived his stories. It’s so lacking in colour or context that it’s difficult to glean much idea of the author or his creations. Moribund.

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