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February 27, 2018 / basabbott

Rage Against the Dying of the Light


New Wolsey Theatre

Ronald Harwood’s play is about the elderly raging against the dying of the light.
I had just jotted down the Dylan Thomas quotation when a character said it.
Four former opera singers are approaching the end of their days in a home.
Their names – Wilfred, Reginald, Cecily and Jean – show their vintage.
They reminisce about the sexual free-for-all that they knew, showing what nonsense we hear now about harassment.
It is a painful and funny play which depicts senior citizens as going to waste.
The rarefied atmosphere of the opera world they knew seems paralleled by that of the home.
Most surprising is Paul Nicholas, remembered as a loveable, pin-up Cockney barrow boy. His character is full of years but still with the ruttish instincts of a young man.
He, Jeff Rawle, Wendi Peters and Sue Holderness show that there is life in the old troupers yet.
Peter Rowe’s production shows that people of mature years should never be discounted.

Basil Abbott

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