Sweet Bird of Youth by Tenessee Williams, Theatre Royal Bath 1985, Theatre Royal Plymouth, 1985

Designer - Eileen Diss
Lighting designer - Mick Hughes
Costume designer - Robin Fraser-Paye

Chance Wayne - Michael Beck
The Princess Kosmonopolis - Lauren Bacall
Fly - Johnny Worthy
George Scudder - Colin Reese
Boss Finley - James Grout
Tom Junior - Simon Rouse
Charles - William Payne
Aunt Nonnie - Alice Drummond
Heavenly Finley - Geraldine Alexander
Pianist - David Owen
Stuff - Christopher Cooper
Miss Lucy - Frances Cuka
The Heckler - Jay Benedict
Page - Herbert Norville
Violet - Jane Pickering
Edna - Tacye Picking
Scotty - Ian Morton
Bud - Michael Shallard
Hatcher - Michael Shevelew

Lauren Bacall in 'Sweet Bird of Youth'

To watch this lady in action is to appreciate how a legend was built. Here is an actress not living on past celluloid memories...rather adapting to the stage by being unafraid of playing 'big', and by bringing to it the great quality of presence. She is quite magnificent.

Mike Allen on Plymouth Sound Radio

"Mr. Pinter's production walks a sure path between exaggeration and meticulousness. His concern with what the players do with their hands gives us unexpected delights: Boss Finley just restraining himself from seizing his dazed daughter by the throat; Tom Junior clenching and relaxing his menacing right hand in his confrontation with Chance Wayne; Miss Bacall herself striking grand actressy attitudes which lead the eye always to the tips of her elegant fingers."

Martin Cropper, The Times, 10 July 1985.

"Harold Pinter's humane and questing production for the most part constrains the play's indulgences while being unafraid of its emotion."

Ros Asquith, The Observer, 14 July 1985.

"Pinter's production gets full value out of a play that is simultaneously East Lynne for the intellectual classes and a tribute to the dignity of defeat."

Michael Billington, The Guardian, 11 July 1985.

"Harold Pinter's direction discovers its latent humour and often highlights his author's placing of devastating phrase."

John Barber, The Daily Telegraph, 11 July 1985.

"Pinter also realised that the ultimate castration of the gigolo-hero by a Southern redneck's bully boys was not just a piece of overheated melodrama; it was a symbol of Williams's hatred of the Fascist instinct in American life."

Michael Billington, The Life and Work of Harold Pinter, London: Faber and Faber, 1996, pp.302-3

"Pinter makes good his admiration by making full value to Boss Finley's sidekicks as threatening, shadowy thugs we have seen in The Birthday Party or No Man's Land."

Michael Coveney, The Financial Times, 10 July 1985.

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