The Remains of the Day

This event has now finished. Until Sep 25 2010

© Michael Brydon

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Sep 8 2010

In theory, it's no odder to set a novel about the crumbling of inter-war English values to music than it is for a writer born in Nagasaki in 1954 to have thought up that novel in the first place, and this is largely a well-acted and sensitive reworking of Kazuo Ishiguro's elegant Booker-winner.

As Stevens, the butler whose perfection comes at terrible personal cost, Stephen Rashbrook strolls calmly away from the shadow of Anthony Hopkins, Oscar-nominated in the film; and Lucy Bradshaw does nearly as well with Miss Kenton, the efficient young housekeeper whose sentiments seem almost forthright in comparison to the throttled affections of the ageing paragon she cares for.

Because of their invisible ministrations, Lord Darlington is able to host international politicians without a glitch - or a domestic one, anyway. His attempts to further the German cause add complexity to Stevens's post-war assessment of his own, almost criminal passivity: is it better to act wrongly with conviction, or never do anything for fear of errorě

Why anyone thought this meditation on the complications of loyalty would suit a musical treatment is far more baffling than Stevens's failure to express his feelings for Miss Kenton. Emotional repression - sungě The intricate problems of post-Versailles Treaty diplomacy - as librettoě Alex Loveless writes a nice tune, but his lyrics are aimless and spattered with clichés, and you don't have to have the rigid standards of a Stevens to consider solecisms such as the rhyming of 'French', 'übermensch' and 'retrench' to be ludicrous breaches of protocol.

Union Theatre details

Union Theatre, 204 Union St, SE1 OLX

Union Theatre

Walk a little too fast along Union Street and you might well miss the entrance to this underground theatre. Housed in a former warehouse, and...

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