2015-04-28 The Glass Protege, London


Back to 2015

2015-04-28 night, Park Theatre, London

European Premiere

TGP programme front cover

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MY REPORT

TGP ticket

(spoilers)

I love stories that talk about the Golden Age of Hollywood. It must have been such an exciting time for a young, rich and famous actor then!

But not all the glitter is gold. In real life, actors had their secrets to hide, sexual secrets mostly.

Fans of a rising star wouldn’t have been pleased to know that she got pregnant being not married or that he had an illicit relationship with a fellow actor. So the little bird who wanted to fly high, had to live inside a golden cage instead.

That what happens to the young English actor Patrick Glass, who moves to Hollywood to become a star, but suddenly falls in love with Jackson, a manly tall actor who doesn’t hide his true nature to the boy. They start a deep love story they can’t talk about in public.

But Hollywood wants to rule the world: signing a contract with them was like signing it with the devil.

And paparazzi hide in the dark, waiting for their scoop, not caring of people they’re destroying. So it ends in tragedy for the bright star Candice, who commits suicide, leaving the two actors shocked. In order to save his own business and to avoid the scandal, Jackson’s manager takes Patrick under his control and throws away his old protégé for a new one. It’s like if Patrick loses his soul taking the role that will make him famous, which was previously assigned to Jackson before he fell.

I think the title is a word game between Patrick’s surname, him being the manager’s protégé and Jackson protégé (or the contrary?) – and his will being as fragile as glass. So his only choice is to get married, having a family and forgetting his lover, so that he can get the career he was dreaming of.

Hollywood must have been a depressing place in the reality at that time, maybe it still is! For both gay people and women, who needed to keep a clean reputation!

So we see Patrick as old, grumpy, unhappy man, who regrets having married a woman he didn’t love, having had a son, a wealthy life, a glorious past in cinema, but being not happy.

The story jumps between his past when he was a shy gentle young man, and his present days when he’s sick in bed and doesn’t want an au pair girl to look after him.

When he hears that his son wants to marry the reluctant girl, he reveals them about his lost love and suggest them not to get married without being in love to each other.

I particularly find poetic the story of the book that Jackson lent to him! Patrick never wanted to finish it, because it would mean that he should give it back, but he doesn’t know where to find the man he loved.

The ending is heartbreaking and it says to us “Don’t lose the occasion to live with your loved one, instead of waste your life with somebody you can’t love”! Pure poetry!

I just would have liked some more scenes taking place in the fascinating 1949, the parts that I prefer.

 

The cast is composed of eight good actors. To me the stand outs were particularly:

David Butler in the role of Patrick, he plays a strong part without fear, I liked the scene when he’s not the shy one anymore and seduces Jackson and he’s funny when he plays Mae West!

Alexander Hulme in the role of Jackson, looking bold and strong, but being fragile after Patrick left him.

Emily Loomes who shines in the role of Candice, the bright blond star, she also so very funny but able to play an heartbreaking scene.

 

Some notes about the staging.

Half stage is used for the modern age, the other half for 1949. MODERN AGE: A bed at the centre of the stage, covered with white curtains where they projected some old movies, like “Roma Città Aperta” with Anna Magnani – over it, a big “Hollywoodland” electric sign – night tables near the bed. 1949: a sofa in front of the bed – a room divider in one angle – a table with some chairs around and bottles over it and some films and scripts under it – music in ‘40s style from the radio.

Costumes and soundtracks in style with the ‘40s and modern time.

 

At the end of the show there has been a Q&A event with Peter Tatchell , the reverend Jide Macaulay, the writer Dylan Costello, the director Matthew Gould and the cast, hosted by the “Kaleidoscope Trust”.

I’m sorry if I couldn’t get everything. They talked about the hard situation of gay people in Nigeria and around the world. The two main actors were asked if they did know what was going on in Hollywood in those years and if they made some research for their roles. They all were agree in saying that maybe the situation in the movie industry was easier in UK than in US.

 

I thought that already, but the play made me feel sorry for gay people in the entertainement industry who weren’t free to live together with their beloved due to stupid homophobia. I still don’t get what’s wrong in gay love!

The play ends Saturday 9 May, but I’m glad to read it’s sold out on his last night! I hope it has a life after London.

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 Now, if you want to read further….

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INFORMATION

14th April – 9th May 2015

Giant Cherry Productions in association with Park Theatre present the UK Premiere “The Glass Protégé” by Dylan Costello

PLOT: Hollywood 1949. A time when the movies were king and the movie stars merely pawns for the studio bosses.

Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes including interval
Post-Show Debate with Kaleidoscope Trust, Peter Tatchell and Rev Jide Macaulay Tues 28 April 21h45
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Cast and Creatives official sites and Twitter accounts:

David R. Butler as ‘Patrick’

Stephen Connery-Brown as ‘George’

Alexander Hulme as ‘Jackson’  

Paul Lavers as ‘Pat’ @paullaverspaullavers.com

Emily Loomes as ‘Candice’

Sheena May as ‘Ava’

Roger Parkins as ‘Lloyd’

Mary Stewart as ‘Nella’  

 

Written by Dylan Costello @dylancostello74

Directed by Matthew Gould  

Set and Costume Designer – Jean Gray

Lighting Designer – Joshua Sung

Sound Designer – Will Thompson

Set and Costume Assistant – Zoe Hammond

Stage Manager – Antonia Petruccelli @NiaPetruccelli

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LINKS & SOURCES

Park Theatre official website parktheatre.co.uk – Facebook page ParkTheatreLondon – Twitter account  

The Glass Protege Facebook page glassprotege – Twitter account

Giant Cherry Productions official website giantcherryproductions.com – Facebook page – Twitter account @GiantCherry1
Interview with David R Butler and Alexander Hulme on @BoyzMagazine see tweet.

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GALLERY

TGP programme cover  TGP flyer

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TRAILERS & CLIPS

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