Year: 2007

Title of the play: Office Suite (A Visit From Miss Prothero and Green Forms)

Author: Alan Bennett

Director: Edward Kemp

Others in the Cast: Patricia Routledge, Janet Dale, Carole Street, David Bannerman

Company/Event:Act Productions – A Chichester Theatre Production

Theatre and location: Minerva Theatre, Chichester; Theatre Royal, Bath; Theatre Royal, Plymouth; Richmond Theatre; The Lowry, Salford (Lyric Theatre); Theatre Royal, Glasgow; Festival Theatre, Malvern

Other productions of the same play: 

Plot summary:

Peth’s role: Mr Dodsworth / Mr Lomax


Edward Petherbridge’s Dodsworth, mild-mannered, grey and drained, is as bound by the routines of bowling and third-age education as he was by the office. His brief outburst in Prothero’s absence, or final appeal to his dead wife now the whole superstructure he’d created at Warburton’s has vanished, are beautifully controlled, while the moment the two sit in icy silence listening to music captures the emptiness underlying working-relationships. - Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate, Apr 19, 2007

Routledge's titular character entirely undermines a former colleague by telling him that his life's work in office systems has been ruthlessly discarded by his successor. There is a watchful malevolence in this performance, a mean-spirited ability to make even apparently kindly meant words sting, that comes close to evil. And Edward Petherbridge's broken devastation and despair at the end isn't far removed from the dramatic territory of Samuel Beckett. - Charles Spencer, Telegraph

Petherbridge was marvellous as Mr Dodsworth, constrained by convention and good manners when plainly he wants to throttle his smug visitor, then utterly broken by the realisation his years of work have been swept away. - Wiltshire Times


Director Edward Kemp does his best to flag life into these two museum pieces, and he’s helped by two excellent performances from Edward Petherbridge, as the manager whose retirement is ruined and as a manual worker being wooed by a keen union official. - Maxwell Cooter, What's on Stage

(A visit from Miss Prothero) opens with Petheridge as the recently retired Mr Dodsworth, dozing in his chair, awakened by the arrival of his former work colleague Miss Prothero, come to keep him up to date with what has been happening in their office. Content with his newly acquired interest in cookery and pottery, Dodsworth reminisces about how he had transformed his department at work by reducing delivery times. It is then that Miss Prothero reveals the devastating news that everything has been computerised, negating at a stroke, his lifetime of planning for office efficiency. Sheila Tracy, The Stage, 20 April 2007  

Green Forms - Petheridge makes a brief, but telling appearance, delivering yet more forms with loads of advice about joining the union, bringing him a round of applause. Sheila Tracy, The Stage, 20 April 2007 


Edward Petherbridge, as Mr Dodsworth, gives a brilliant performance making clear the innate goodness and simplicity of his character and one readily appreciates how easily he could be irredeemably hurt when the realisation strikes him that, despite all he had done for the firm, and the selfless work he has put in, he is now yesterday’s news.  - Indie London


Edward Petherbridge plays Mr Dodsworth. Retired from Warburtons, where he was a mainstay of management systems, he is content to potter, chat to Millie, his budgie, and pursue an interest in cordon bleu cookery. However, a visit from his one-time colleague Miss Prothero (Routledge) shakes his whole world.- Press Release


There is a silvery melancholy about Edward Petherbridge's Dodsworth as he moves from a new-found pleasure in pottery to horror at news of his successor's computerised reforms. Michael Billington, The Guardian, April 20, 2007

Production details:
Designer – Simon Higlett
Sound – Jonathan Suffolk
Lighting – Mark Jonothan
Music: Mathew Scott

Related links:


Scenes from A Visit from Miss Prothero


Scenes from Green Forms.

Scenes from the rehearsal

  Original pics and more reviews here

Original pics here 

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