News and updates for the Patrick Wymark Boardroom - a website about the Power Game actor.

Maintained by Harry Dobermann. Email me at harry@wymark.org.uk

"Exorcist" at the Phoenix Theatre

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Sat, February 03, 2018 21:49:47

The Exorcist

Phoenix Theatre

Reviewed by Dr Terror

On my regular rail journeys to Bradley, the talk of every carriage is currently about which early seventies film smash will be next to appear on the London stage. The smart money is split between Earthquake and Dirty Harry.

Which brings us to the theatrical version of The Exorcist. Does it work? CAN it work? The answer, against all odds, is yes.

It works because the cast is a terrific one and no one ever sticks a tongue in their cheek and even thinks about sending it up. In spite of this, it's still a very close call. It's definitely a mistake to do the crucifix-as-dildo bit just before the interval. In fact, it's a mistake even to have an interval, something which fewer and fewer plays are doing now. The bar was consequently full of laughter and lewd re-enactment while the staff tried to flog an overpriced wine called The Velvet Devil.

And yet, despite all this frivolity, they pulled it off. My disbelief was suspended, no mean feat when you consider how ridiculous the plot is. Despite the sexual intentions behind the demon's possession of Regan being far more obvious here than in the film, nobody once queried whether there might be anything to fear in this regard from the priests themselves. Oh, and how about this: the demon talks with the voice of an uncredited Sir Ian McKellen?

So in spite of ALL of this, it still works. Peter Bowles in the title role, still widely thought of as a sitcom actor, exudes gravitas and compassion. Adam Garcia's Father Karras, now a fully-fledged 'psychiatrist-priest' (you don't find too many of them), and Jenny Seagrove 's despairing mother Chris both completely win our sympathy and Clare Louise Connelly as Regan is an absolute star.

And what, given whose website we're on, of Tristram Wymark playing Burke, the ill-fated film director (in fact, in this production, Regan predicts HIS death rather than that of a nervous astronaut)? The role is a bigger and more nuanced one than in the film. Although he's partly there as the light relief, his booze-addled mincing queen/tortured Catholic persona is never less than captivating - think Oliver Reed meets Larry Grayson meets Graham Greene - and there's something utterly fascinating about his resemblance to Patrick.

It was a tall order but it won me over 100%. In fact, I'll tell you this - and not just to annoy Mark Kermode (though, goodness knows, that's reason enough): it's better than the film.

Review of The Invasion (1963)

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Sun, November 26, 2017 16:51:40
The Invasion is a 1963 episode of Armchair Theatre, written by Angus Wilson and starring Patrick Wymark as a property tycoon.
The Invasion is now available on DVD from Network in a disc which includes 3 other plays including The Worm In The Bud starring Barry Foster and Elizabeth Begley (Margie from The Plane Makers)

You can read a review of The Invasion here.

1963 Patrick Wymark play coming to DVD

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Sun, November 12, 2017 15:50:34

In December, Network DVD will be releasing “Armchair Theatre Archive” Volume 2, which contains four episodes of the ABC drama strand including 1963’s “The Invasion”.

Written by novelist Angus Wilson, the satirical comedy starred Patrick Wymark and Eleanor Summerfield as two “new rich” incomers engaged in a conflict with the gentry (represented by Athene Saylor, Frances Rowe and Clive Morton, unaware that Martians are secretly invading the planet).

Born in Bexhill in 1913, Wilson began writing following a nervous breakdown while working as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War Two. He later wrote “Anglo Saxon Attitudes” and “The Old Men At The Zoo”, both of which were adapted for television.

The DVD is currently on offer for “pre-order” on the Network website

Left Handed Liberty

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Tue, August 29, 2017 20:57:50
The Magna Carta of 1215 is generally viewed as the foundation stone of English liberty. In the City of Lincoln, one of the four surviving copies is securely displayed in the new David PJ Ross Vault in Lincoln Castle.

But today, it is recognised that the Magna Carta was just a starting point - viewed at the time as short-term pragmatism. The City of Lincoln is currently celebrating the Forest Charter of 1217 (also displayed in the vault), which restored common law to land previously designated as Royal Forests.

In 1965, Patrick Wymark starred as King John in "Left Handed Liberty", a play commissioned by the Corporation of the City of London to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Magna Carta. Playwright John Arden realised during his research that there was a hidden story about Magna Carta - what it really meant to King John and his Barons - and what that tells us about freedom today. You can read more about Left Handed Liberty here.


UpdatesPosted by Henderson Tue, August 08, 2017 20:20:22

His Last Bow; On 29 July 1970, Patrick Wymark starred in the Australian premiere of SLEUTH. http://wymark.org.uk/sleuth.html

The Nuns

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Sun, June 18, 2017 21:02:59
In 1970, Patrick Wymark starred as a cigar smoking Mother Superior in "The Nuns".
Read more here

Before The Plane Makers

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Sun, May 21, 2017 10:31:32

We're looking at Things to Come, No Highway and The Sound Barrier - the image of aviation and the industry before The Plane Makers see more here

The Power of Anderson

UpdatesPosted by Henderson Tue, May 09, 2017 14:43:32

We look at the influence of Patrick Wymark, the Plane Makers and the Power Game on the works of Gerry Anderson

We look at the influence of Patrick Wymark, the Plane Makers and the Power Game on the works of Gerry Anderson http://wymark.org.uk/power21.html

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