Year: 2009

Title of the play: Artist Descending a Staircase

Author: Tom Stoppard

Director: Michael Gieleta

Others in the Cast: Jeremy Child, Olivia Darnley, Ryan Gage, Max Irons, Alex Robertson, David Weston

Company/Event: Henry Filloux-Bennett & Stephen Makin, The Cherub Company, Loaded Hog Productions and Nick Rogers

Theatre and location: Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington

Plot summary: It is 1972. Martello, Beauchamp and Donner are three contemporary artists who have lived and worked together for over 60 years. But this afternoon Donner has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Was it professional jealously that led to his demise, or a love triangle that spanned six decades? Six actors play the three artists as the search for artistic truth and criminal motive carries us from 1972 to 1914 and back again.

Peth’s role: Donner


Alex Robertson, Ryan Gage and Max Irons are believably cast as the older men's younger selves, with Irons and Petherbridge in particular projecting the same lyrical melancholy of Donner's unrequited love, unshaken despite the passing of years. - Whats On Stage, 8 December 2009

Michael Gieleta's production is beautifully judged and cast. David Weston and Jeremy Child as the old Martello and Beauchamp, Ryan Gage and Alex Robertson as their young selves are all impeccable. But the highest honours go to Irons, as the young Donner to Edward Petherbridge's fierce, flinty old one; and to Olivia Darnley as the beautiful blind girl who tragically shows that, when it comes to love, there are none so blind as those who will not see. -  Rhoda Koenig, The Independent, 14 December 2009


More reviews:

Lyn Gardner in, 7 December 2009  

Related links:

I even share a brotherhood with my younger self in the play, young Max Irons. I spotted him as we were entering the Tube so I suggested we have a drink in the adjacent pub, as a stopgap until we can have champagne and smoked salmon in the Eurostar Long Bar at St Pancras. We had a heart-to-heart about the difficulties of rehearsal, and bonded somewhat, I hope, to facilitate the fact that we are playing one another. - EP in an extract from Rehearsal Diary on Vulpes Libres


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