Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Madras House

Back in April, I was really impressed with the National Theatre's production of 'The Voysey Inheritance', and now I've noticed from a review in the Telegraph that another Harley Granville Barker play 'The Madras House' has been revived in the Orange Tree Theatre.

I must get along to see that. For all the time that I lived around Richmond I never actually went to a production in the purpose built Orange Tree Theatre after it moved from the pub across the road.

The action concerns the sale of a rag-trade family business, comprising a drapery emporium in Peckham and the Madras House itself, an haute-couture establishment in W1.
Philip Madras, the son of one of the founders, is running the operation, as his father Constantine has converted to Islam and now lives near Baghdad.

A modern sounding synopsis is it not? The notion that we have a more sophisticated view of the world than the Edwardians seems more ridiculous to me by the day, yet that golden generation was smashed and pulled down from its pedestal in the quagmire of the Great War for all that they were cleverer, more worldly and more cultured than us. It's a sobering thought when you look at the world today.

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