The Company Man
Torben Betts has rewritten Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, set in contemporary England.
THE THEATREGUIDE LONDON REVIEW
...a poignant portrait of middle-class angst... Isla Blair is a triumph.
There is a potent mixture here of love, hate, devotion and disapproval that flares into dramatic confrontations...
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
This two-act play explores the history and future of a dysfunctional family and a troubled marriage with impressive impact. At the same time, the production remains compellingly true to life. Torben Betts’s touchingly humorous yet tragic script is handled subtly and maturely by all cast members... a striking impression of domestic life gone sour... well worth seeing.
...a beautifully acted elegiac work...
RUTH LEON, PLAYBILL.COM
...reminiscent of Ibsen's Ghosts in its depiction of a family wrecked by a father's pursuits, except with sexual conquest substituted for the pursuit of financial security.
Betts is a playwright known for his poetic and epic writing, but he also proves to be a master at social realism... Shattering... Beautiful, dark, touching and relevant; make sure you catch this play before it ends its run.
LONDON FESTIVAL FRINGE
Betts is a dramatist of two manners. On the fringe it’s full-force tempests of words; for repertory theatres (principally Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph) a more measured style. The Company Man has a fascination as it operates on the edge between these. In story, character and realistic scenes, it’s the polite Torben of A Listening Heaven and other Scarborough scripts. But much of the play’s tone, its abrasive relationships and aspects of its dialogue, suggest wild-man Betts isn’t being kept fully at bay.
As we might expect from Betts, this is a painful portrait of the dysfunction that so often lies beneath the veneer of middle-class life, casting the generational hang-ups and hangovers of the post-war generation into heavy relief... Two more distressing hours of theatre I have rarely seen. But it's a travesty not one national newspaper reviewed this show. The Orange Tree is often criticised for concentrating on forgotten classics. Here is a new play by an award-winning writer already neglected. The run is now over and it will take a brave director to revive it, still braver actors to put in performances even half as powerful as those of the Orange Tree cast.
The Orange Tree maintains its reputation for excellence with this family portrait that seems as though it could have been written by J B Priestley in the 1930s... The play is spellbinding with as much humour as pathos.
CAB TRADE NEWS
...a wonderful treat... Don’t miss it!
THE PUBLIC REVIEWS
The Company Man was first performed at The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond on 8 October 2010.
WILLIAM, Bruce Alexander
JANE, Isla Blair
CATHY, Beatrice Curnew
JAMES, Nicholas Lumley
RICHARD, Jack Sandle
Director, Adam Barnard
Designer, Sam Dowson
Lighting Designer, William Reynolds
Assistant Director, Teunkie van der Sluijs
ASM, Becky Flisher
Assistant Designer, Katy Mills
DSM , Sophie Acreman
Fight Director, Philip D’Orleans
Production Technician, Michael ‘Gadget’ Sowby
Production Technician, Hilary Williamson
Stage Manager, Stuart Burgess