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Travels With My Aunt

September 1, 2015
Giles Havergal’s Adaptation of Graham Greene’s TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT [*****]

Gender-Switches & Role-Sharing: On the International-Road with Henry & Aunt Åugusta…

Aunt Augusta isn’t quite what she may seem to the Outside-World.

But even to her Unmarried, Dahlia-Loving Nephew Henry, Augusta—who Lives-Life with Gusto—isn’t quite what she may have seemed to him when she plucked him out of Suburban-Torpor, after the Cremation of his Defunct-Mother…

Indeed, His-Mother’s-Urn may not now be quite what it seems.

For that Matter, who would have thought that that Old-Framed-Photograph concealed a Leonardo-Sketch, Nazi-Loot, still on the loose?

Graham Greene won his Spurs as a Creator of Intellectual-Challengers such as The Heart of the Matter & Spy-Thrillers like Orient Express & Our Man in Havana, but Travels with My Aunt isn’t that kind of Thriller: it is just Too-Hilarious to be Spine-Chilling.

What makes Jonathan Silverstein’s Revival of Travels with My Aunt so very Unusual is that All-the-25-Outrageous-Characters are played by a Bowler-Hatted-Male-Quartette.

Thomas Jay Ryan is Dominant & Domineering as an Imperious Aunt Augusta—who seems to be involved in Complicated-International-Affairs with Men, Money, & Stolen-Goods.

Ryan could easily amble down to the Atlantic-Theatre, where his Gender-Switches & Grand-Brit-Manners would fit right in with the Cloud-Niners.

But what an Astonishment that Jay Russell, Dan Jenkins, & Rory Kulz are almost Interchangeable in Bowler-Hats & Multiple-Roles.

They don’t even have to Change-Hats to Change-Characters.

Jonathan Silverstein is not only a Keen-Director, but his Keene-Company—of which he is also the Artistic-Director—is Keen indeed.

He even has Keen-Designers, notably Steven C. Kemp, who has confected a Boxed-Façade that can be or conceal Many-Things.

Memory may be Playing-Me-False, but I do seem to remember Sir Alec Guinness playing Aunt Augusta, but that may be a Confusion-Displacement from his Drag-Role in Kind Hearts & Coronets.

Sir Alec once told me he found it Great-Fun to Switch-Genders on-stage.

But I had Totally-Forgotten about Giles Havergal after so many years.

Years ago, after every Edinburgh-Festival, I’d to over to Glasgow to spend a few days with my Scots-Buddies, Robert David MacDonald, Phillip Prowse, & Giles Havergal, who—as a kind of Trivium, or Triad or Trio—had created the Internationally-Famed Cits-Theatre of Glasgow.

I’d known Prowse in London, where he won Kudos as a Scenic-Designer.

MacDonald was both a Playwright & Director, with Giles Havergal as Playwright, Director, Actor, & Idea-Man.

In the Cast-Bios, I see that Giles Havergal even adapted Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth for San Francisco’s ACT.

Interesting indeed, as I discovered the Two-Surviving-Manuscripts of Wharton’s Unpublished-Flop years ago, publishing my Edition as The Play of The House of Mirth

Copyright 2015 Glenn M. Loney

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