The wonderful run of Travesties, directed by Patrick Marber, ended last night at the Apollo in Shaftesbury Avenue in London. It began with a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory before moving to the West End. I will miss so many little and big things about it – the set, the sounds, the singing (Sarah Quist’s amazing voice) and dancing, hilarious Russian translations, witty exchanges (love the one on ‘art’ and ‘being able to fly’, and Cecily and Gwendolen’s sung conversation) and of course the wonderful acting and comic timing from everyone. It was perfection. And that’s before we get on to the amazing brain fuel from the flurry of ideas, histories (real and not quite so real1) and linguistic styles deployed in Tom Stoppard’s text and brought to life so brilliantly on stage.
As you’ll see from the clips below obviously some parts of the play were recorded, so I can’t help wondering if the full play was too. I know that a performance was live-captioned (by Stage Text) and that they typically use a DVD recording of the performance to help with this, so can’t help being a little bit hopeful that a recording exists somewhere. Sometimes plays are livestreamed into cinemas (or from a DVD), it would be nice if the play could live on a little longer.
Here are some video reminders…
The music in the video above is Sage Hen Strut by Lu Watters and it featured in the play, during one of the dance scenes. It also played the audience out at the end, in the Menier run so I took the opportunity to Shazam it 🙂
Here’s Andrew Marr’s interview with Tom Hollander about Travesties, and a little about The Night Manager too.
…and here is a selection of insults used throughout the play. Maybe don’t try this at home 😉
1If you’d like to find out some more about the real history behind the fictional Henry Carr (played by Tom Hollander) then these blog posts are very good.
- Travesties: the Henry Carr trouser saga (30 March 2017) Peter Chrisp’s From Swerve of Shore to Bend of Bay blog
- Henry Carr, and the history behind ‘Travesties’ (25 February 2017) George Simmers’ Great War Fiction blog – interesting look at Henry Carr’s war / medical record (now digitised and public).