Janie and I both really like Simon Gray’s plays and we really like the Hampstead Downstairs.
So this project; taking all four of Simon Gray’s attempts to write about a quirky pair of brothers in The Vale of Health, seemed like something we should do in full.
We saw them in this sequence/timing:
- 21 March 2014 – Japes;
- 18 April 2014 – Japes Too;
- 2 May 2014 – Michael;
- 16 May 2014 – Missing Dates.
We’d often see the same faces in the audience again. One gentleman who sat next to us on the last night, we’d seen at least once before. I said to him that it would be like saying goodbye to close friends when this little season ended and he said, “that’s exactly what I was thinking”.
Very intimate plays, beautifully written (it’s Simon Gray after all) and very well acted/directed.
I’m cutting and pasting this same piece for all four evenings; the above and the links below basically apply to all four.
Here is a link to a search term that will find you Hampstead resources and (unusually for downstairs) reviews, as they transferred this little season upstairs afterwards, because it had done so well downstairs.
Here is a YouTube interview and stuff: