Posted on 11 April 2012

Continuing Jermyn Street Theatre’s burgeoning reputation for rediscovering and staging high quality revivals of lost work featuring some of the most respected performers in British theatre , this Spring sees a rare production of Charles Dyer’s modern masterpiece Mother Adam starring Linda Marlowe and Jasper Britton.

When it was first staged at The Arts Theatre in 1971 starring Beatrix Lehman and Roy Dotrice, Sunday Times theatre critic Sir Harold Hobson coined the phrase The Lonely Trilogy to include Dyer’s best known works, Rattle of a Simple Man and his other play Staircase, both of which have been in constant production throughout the years. Hobson went on to say “In Mother Adam, Dyer has written one of the few real tragedies of our time…. it has deeper resonances; it is more beautifully written, with an imagination at once exotic and desperately familiar; it has a profounder pity, and a more exquisite falling close.”
Mother Adam paints the picture of Mammels, bed-ridden and so arthritic that she can only view the outside world through an angled mirror and Adam her son who dances attendance upon her.  Adam cannot, or will not, cut the apron-strings and marry a piano-teacher who is available and evidently aridity personified. The play is set in the late Sixties and Adam is redolent in his rueful, resentful attitude toward sex. He himself is a "child of Empire" in the euphemistic sense of not knowing whom his father is, despite the family's long, if contested, history of missionary work in the colonies.  This central paring explores the themes of interdependence, of fear of the stark reality of the outside world and of secret histories and invented pasts.  It is also a study of a dysfunctional mother / son relationship in which the manipulative parent can’t let go and the lost child can’t make the break.
Veteran playwright Charles Dyer learned his craft as an actor, his first London appearance being in 1948 when he took over as Duke in Worms’ Eye View at the Whitehall Theatre. His first play Who On Earth reached London at the old Q Theatre in 1951, and ever since those early times, most countries of the world have hosted his works. The eminent American Walter Winchell wrote of Dyer's “Profound thoughts and emotions expressed with humour... People in the shadows discovering sunshine in each other."
Linda Marlowe is best known for her work with Steven Berkoff. Her stage credits include Decadence, The Trial, Metamorphosis, Hamlet, Greek, Coriolanus directed by Steven Berkoff. Too Clever By Half and A Flea in Her Ear directed by Richard Jones at the Old Vic. and One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest (Manchester Royal Exchange), She has also appeared in numerous TV dramas and in several feature films.  Her one woman shows have toured nationally and internationally and she has won The What's On Stage, Peoples Choice Theatre Award as Best Actress in her solo show Berkoff's Women.
Jasper Britton is one of the most prominent stage actors of his generation He shot to fame in 1995 when he replaced Eddie Izzard in Brian Cox’s Richard III winning critical acclaim in the title role. Part of Trevor Nunn’s National Theatre Ensemble Company he has also performed ar Mark Rylance’s Shakespeare’s Globe as Petruchio in Taming of The Shrew, Caliban in The Tempest and as the title role in Macbeth. His other work has included John Gielgud in Nicholas de Jongh's first play Plague Over England, Nansen in Tony Harrison's Fram and Creon opposite Ralph Fiennes in Oedipus the King at the National Theatre. His television credits include two series of My Dad's the Prime Minister, and Brief Encounters: Semi- Detached for the BBC, as well as Highlander: The Series.

Jermyn Street Theatre has recently won The Best Fringe Theatre of the Year in The Stage 100 Awards.  Increasingly in the ascendance under the stewardship of Gene David Kirk, it is considered to be one of the most exciting venues of its size in the UK. With a commitment to presenting both little performed European and American classics and vibrant new plays and musicals, the theatre has won recent acclaim with it’s productions of Ibsen’s Little Eyolf starring Imogen Stubbs,  The River Line by Charles Morgan,Two Character Play by Tennessee Williams and The Art Concealment about the celebrated playwright Terence Rattigan.  In 2011 Jermyn Street Theatre was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.

[posted 11/04/2012]