Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
RONALD Harwood's modern classic, The Dresser,
directed by Peter Hall and starring Julian Glover and Nicholas
Lyndhurst, opens at the Duke of York's Theatre on February 28,
2005 (previews from February 22).
Written in 1980, The Dresser was inspired by Harwood's
own experiences as dresser to actor, Donald Wolfit.
Set during World War II, at a time when all able-bodied actors
had, of necessity, joined the armed forces and theatres around
the country were being destroyed by Hitler's bombs, ageing actor-manager,
'Sir' (Julian Glover), is struggling to maintain his sanity and
complete his 227th performance of King Lear.
There, to fix his wig, massage his
ego, remind him of his opening lines and provide the sound effects
in the storm scene is Norman, his dresser of 16 years (Lyndhurst).
For, no matter what, the show must go on.
Lyndhurst is, undoubtedly, best-known for his many TV comedies
- Butterflies, The Two Of Us, The Piglet Files, Goodnight
Sweetheart and, of course, Only Fools and Horses,
which was recently voted most popular sitcom of all time.
And though rare, his stage credits include The Foreigner
and Straight and Narrow, both in the West End.
Glover, on the other hand, has appeared on stage many times -
in King Lear, at Shakespeare's Globe theatre; in
Phedre, Britannicus, Waiting for Godot, An Inspector Calls and
Macbeth, with Sean Bean. And only recently, he undertook
a major tour in another of Harwood's works, Taking Sides.
In fact, Harwood, has worked extensively in theatre but also
has Oscar-winning film, The
Pianist, to his credit.
Interestingly, The Dresser was itself filmed back in
1983 and starred Albert Finney as 'Sir' and Tom Courtenay as Norman.
The new production is currently booking until May 14, 2005.