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The English Theatre Of Hamburg


  January, 2014

Dear Friends of the English Theatre of Hamburg,

We hope that all of you have survived the holidays, and we are very pleased that so many of you are coming to see Alan Ayckbourn’s delightful comedy RELATIVELY SPEAKING. If you have not seen this play yet and want to have a lot of laughs, there is still time to book tickets before the show closes on 8 February, 2014. You can read some of the wonderful press reviews we have received about the play at the end of this newsletter.

Our next production, the provocative and entertaining MASS APPEAL by Bill C. Davis, opening on 20 February, will be directed by Andrew Lynford. Information about this play appears later in this newsletter. The teaching material, containing a summary and more information about the play, can now be downloaded by you from our website.

Our last play of the season is the intensely dramatic dark comedy, NATIONAL ANTHEMS, by Dennis McIntyre. Tickets are already available for this play online and at our box office.

Come and join us soon.


The Directors

Clifford Dean and Robert Rumpf

The English Theatre of Hamburg | U-Bahn Mundsburg
Lerchenfeld 14 | 22081 Hamburg | Germany
Fax: 040 229 50 40 | Tickets: 040 227 70 89
This issue


MASS APPEAL premiered off-Broadway in New York City and then moved to Broadway in 1981. Since then it has been performed around the world. It was made into a movie starring Jack Lemmon with the screenplay written by Bill C. Davis. The play was born from the author's inner dilemma. As an artist, does one say what he believes people need to hear or what they want to hear?  The play is about the bravery needed to put principles before popularity. Father Tim Farley, an experienced Roman Catholic priest, has made himself popular with his congregation by accepting the Church’s traditional views on such subjects as celibacy and whether women and gay men should be allowed to become priests. Mark Dolson, a young seminary student and candidate for the priesthood, irritates the older priest right from the first scene with his insistence on challenging certain traditions of the Church. And he questions whether one should strive to make things right or sit back, be comfortable and tell the congregation what they want to hear, what makes them feel good. Father Tim Farley and Mark are two specific characters who do battle with each other in the specific universe of the Catholic Church – and yet this drama of “need to hear” vs. “want to hear” could be acted out in many different universes – a law office, a government, a family. The joy and key to this play is that audiences seem to relate to both characters and ironically this has, over the years, been what has given MASS APPEAL its mass appeal.

Click here to see some video clips of The English Theatre production of RELATIVELY SPEAKING.

Click here for teaching material for MASS APPEAL and RELATIVELY SPEAKING

Photo Gallery

Actors in our next production: MASS APPEAL by Bill C. Davis

 (Premieres on 20 February, 2014)

Stephen McGonigle as Mark DolsonPeter Amory as Father Tim Farley




Actors in our current production: RELATIVELY SPEAKING by Alan Ayckbourn

 (Closes 8 February, 2014) 

James Walmsley as PhilipJan Hirst as Sheila 
Charlotte Croft as GinnyDale Monie as Greg



Recent Press clippings: RELATIVELY SPEAKING

Alster Magazine, Dezember 2013
Ein Ehepaar und ein „wanna be“ Paar spielen eine Farce, die auf hohem Niveau von Wortspiel und auch Situationskomik lebt.
…Greg, mitleiderregend gespielt von Dale Monie….Ginny, herrlich naiv verkörpert von Charlotte Croft. …Philip, in seiner Arroganz souverän von James Walmsley dargestellt. …Sheila, herrlich britisch distinguiert und warmherzig präsentiert von Jan Hirst. Besonders zufrieden sollten allerdings die Freunde präziser pronunciation sein—dies also auch als Tip für Lehrer und Schüler. Sie alle werden sich nicht nur exzellentere Aussprache erfreuen sondern auch noch a sense of British humour genießen können—if they are not without any sense of humour.

Szene, Dezember 2013
Very british
„Relatively Speaking“ ist eine Verwechslungskomödie mit viel Humor und bissiger Kritik. Dass das Stück im English Theatre aufgeführt wird, ist ein Glücksfall für Hamburg, denn so kommt das Publikum in den seltenen Genuss, die Komödie in ihrer Originalfassung zu sehen. Die englische Aussprache der Schauspieler ist deutlich und auch für Nicht-Muttersprachler gut zu verstehen. Voll bepackt mit britischen Spitzzüngigkeit bringen die vier Akteure das Publikum reihen weise zum Lachen.

Die Auswärtige Presse, Dezember 2013
When the curtain fell, the four actors were greeted with a standing ovation by the audience.


Angloinfo--theglobal expat network, 2 January, 2014
Relatively Speaking, The English Theatre’s Latest Play is a Hoot
By Marinell Haegelin
In this, Alan Ayckbourn’s seventh play—he’s written 77—we’re treated to uproarious comedy. Ageless and still considered one of Ayckborn’s best-crafted plays, the London cast excels. Dale Monie captures Greg’s naiveté and determination, whereas Charlotte Croft’s cagey Ginny has yet to realize honesty is the better policy. Jan Hirst’s Shelia—trusting but no fool, and James Walmsley’s delivery and timing as Philip is spot-on. As the quips fly, and under Clifford Dean’s marvelously measured direction, the actors’ physical and verbal expressive interaction is excellent. Relatively Speaking adds sunny laughter and fun to the gray wintry days, while focusing on relationship themes begging for contemplation.

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