Rattigan’s centenary marked by new production of ‘arguably his best play’

Tim Suffolk and Hayden Taylor as father and son Winslows
Tim Suffolk and Hayden Taylor as father and son Winslows
Joe Pasquale as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Picture: Michael Wharley

REVIEW: Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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The centenary of Terence Rattigan’s birth will be marked by a production of The Winslow Boy by Portsmouth company One Off next week –- ‘because I like to celebrate the greats,’ says artistic director David Lippiett.

‘It is a very fine play, arguably his best, and when I asked Tony Dart if he would like to do a production I was delighted when he went for this.

‘He believes the characters and their situation, especially how the Winslow progeny behave, have resonance in youth culture today. And he wanted to go for a very traditional approach, accentuating the humour and reality.’

The play is based on a true story of a boy expelled for stealing, and his family’s struggle to clear his name.

They engage a leading barrister, to be played for One Off by Jonathan Fost, with Guide Award winner Helen Stoddart as the boy’s feisty elder sister and Tim Suffolk as the father.

The boy himself is played by Hayden Taylor who has previously worked with Tony in CCADS productions of The BFG and Beauty And The Beast and was in Southsea Shakespeare Actors’ Romeo And Juliet.

He is also a deputy for Portsmouth in the UK Youth Parliament.

Playing the older Winslow son is Mike Parker, most recently seen in the title role of the CCADS production of The Graduate, and Brenda Kent plays the mother.

The production remains true to Rattigan’s original concept, with no romance between sister and barrister.

· Performances at the Spring Arts Centre, Havant, from Wednesday to Saturday (7.30pm). Tickets: (023) 9247 2700 or thespring.co.uk.