terrence-rattigan

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You Belong to Me - Jo Stafford

For those of you who have watched The Deep Blue Sea (I’m looking at you, Hiddlestoners), you’ll very likely recognize this song as the one that’s playing in the background (more like foreground really) while Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz succeed in completely ruining my sexuality slow dance in the bar and it’s totally romantic and beautiful and god the music in that movie was actually just perfect and-

Anyways. 

So I decided, somewhat off-offhandedly, to record my own cover of this song (in my shitty apartment, mind you, so the sound quality is really not so hot I do apologize for that). I highly recommend the original song (it’s in a different key from this one), as well as watching the movie regardless of whether you are a loyal Hiddlestoner or just a movie connoisseur, it’s really a wonderful piece of work.   

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The Rattigan Enigma By Benedict Cumberbatch

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch at the Royal Theatre Haymarket, where the recent Rattigan production of Flare Path was performed.
  2. Benedict chats with his English Teacher, Martin Tyrell, who directed him in many of his school productions including The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan.
  3. Benedict revisits his old school house, The Park, at Harrow. House photos of Terence Rattigan, who was there 65 years before Benedict, still hang on the walls.
  4. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch with a photo portrait of playwright Terence Rattigan.
  5. Benedict picks out Terence Rattigan (in white), from an old school photo.
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My friend made an appointment to view After the Dance, by Terrence Rattigan, at the National Theatre Archive yesterday, and she graciously invited me along…

WHAT a treat, wow. I can really see why Benedict as well as others have called his role of David Scott-Fowler a turning point in his career, and I’m kicking myself for not seeing it live back in 2010.

The first two acts remind me of Parade’s End in so many ways, for those of you who have seen that (which I’m guessing is most! :). Both works feature an upper-class man who is firmly entrenched in an age that is slipping away, and deeply struggling to find his place in the dawning era. Whereas PE takes place at the end of the Edwardian era and at the beginning of the modern age, this takes post WWI and on the dawn of WWII. Also like PE, his character is married to a woman who is also product of the previous age, and like Sylvia Tiejens, Joan Scott-Fowler is projecting an image of an impervious and imitable socialite, while actually deeply in love with her husband. Yet she is unable to relate on an authentic, intimate level; in this case her fear of being perceived by him as ‘a bore’ prevents it. Instead, ironically and tragically, he falls in love with a very young and determined woman who is decidedly a product of the next generation, and is the epitome of what his generation of former 'Bright Young Things’ would’ve considered a bore. She is direct and earnest, much like Miss Wannop, but with a few very critical differences…

Ultimately both men let go of the dated era that so formed them and turn towards the new era, but that’s where the similarities between the two productions end, because there are verrry different outcomes.

Benedict’s performance is incredible, it should go without saying. He is an actor who can convey so much complexity, and like with other roles he’s had, his character is layered and nuanced. He’s simultaneously aggravating and sympathetic, brilliant and shiftless, and well-intentioned yet destructively oblivious.

If anyone is in London or planning on visiting, I highly recommend booking a viewing appointment with the NT Archive, and checking it out!

Bonus: Benedict plays the piano several times, and sings (beautifully, of course).

The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch

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THIS is such a treasure guys. It’s not only an hour of Benedict’s voice. It a story he was personally interested in AND  we get some extra bits about Babybatch’s story, his time at Harrow and a proof that Babybatch was blonde. :)

And yes, I don’t even care who that Terrence Rattigan person was.