The aristocracy: backbone of Britain, pillar of Church and State, the living embodiment of tradition. And purveyors of certain eccentricities. Some stranger than others . . .
When the 13th Earl of Gurney dies in somewhat embarrassing circumstances, the title is inherited by his son, Jack – to the horror of the rest of the family. Why? Well, Jack’s particular eccentricity is a little more extreme than most: he’s a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks he’s the Father, Son and Holy Ghost . . .
Returning home from a clinic to assume the title - and to preach an alarmingly subversive brand of peace, love and understanding - Jack is spectacularly unsuited to life in elite society. Appalled, the scheming Gurneys close ranks and deliver an ultimatum to Jack’s psychiatrist, Dr. Herder: Jack must either be cured completely of his delusion – or quietly declared insane and committed to an asylum.
But Herder’s attempts to shock Jack into normality are far from orthodox . . . and whilst the treatment may appear outwardly successful, deep within Jack’s psyche, something dark and deadly is released . . .
One of the landmark plays of the 1960s, Peter Barnes’s classic cult comedy, influenced by everything from music hall to Ealing comedy, is a theatrical tour de force, combining feverish energy, ferocious humour, razor-sharp satire and genuine horror. The 1972 film earned Peter O’Toole an Oscar nomination, whilst James McAvoy starred in the acclaimed 2015 London revival. Do not miss this!
Please note that this play contains occasional strong language and some adult content
“madcap classicism”The Herald
"shocking, farcical, dramatic"The Courier
13th Earl of Gurney / McKyle / DI Brockett
Sir Charles Gurney
Lady Claire Gurney
Matthew Peake / Kelso Truscott, Q.C.
Jack, 14th Earl of Gurney
Mrs Piggot-Jones / Sergeant Fraser
Mrs Treadwell / McKyle’s Assistant
Absurd Person Singular
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