Sedona Film Festival and Mary D. Fisher Theatre present big screen debut in Sedona
Sedona AZ (November 10, 2016) – The first season of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Live continues an exceptional series of plays broadcast to cinemas from London’s Garrick Theatre. The third of the series is “The Entertainer” — starring Kenneth Branagh — showing on Monday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in Sedona. The Sedona International Film Festival hosts the big screen premiere at its Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborneʼs modern classic — “The Entertainer” — conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford directs Kenneth Branagh as Archie Rice in the final production for Plays at the Garrick season.
Kenneth Branagh has so artfully shadowed the career of Laurence Olivier that it was inevitable he would someday play Archie Rice in John Osborne’s 1957 play.
The brilliance of Osborne’s play lies in its use of the dying music hall as a metaphor for the declining British empire. Osborne’s protagonist, Rice, is a clapped-out comic staving off bankruptcy as he tours a shoddy nude revue round the halls. But Osborne was also writing at the moment when the illegal British seizing of the Suez Canal, about to be nationalized by Colonel Nasser, looked like a last desperate throw of the imperial dice and divided the country. All that is represented in the play when Archie’s dad, Billy, laments the way the Brits are pushed around by foreigners even as daughter Jean has joined the passionate anti-Suez protests in Trafalgar Square. If ever there was a state-of-the-nation play, this is it.
Gawn Grainger gives an outstanding performance as Archie’s dad: he captures perfectly Billy’s mix of Edwardian nostalgia and grumbling disillusion, and even suggests the old man is experiencing the first signs of dementia. Greta Scacchi, in the plum role of Archie’s wife, also admirably conveys Phoebe’s mix of pathos, anger and deference to an upper-class world she can never know.
“Kenneth Branagh triumphs in style.” — The Telegraph
“Rob Ashford’s freshly conceived revival rounds off this year-long residency at the Garrick with panache.” — The Independent
“It has been a year since the launch of our residency at the Garrick Theatre. I am immensely proud of the work that has been produced in our creative home, and we have been blessed with a wonderfully supportive audience throughout,” said Branagh. “We are entering the final chapter of our season with ‘The Entertainer’. Its relevance to our own current and social climate is astonishing. I do hope you can join us to experience John Osborne’s landmark play and to celebrate the last production in our season.”
“The Entertainer” from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Monday, Nov. 21. Showtime is 4 p.m. Tickets are $15, or $12.50 for Film Festival members. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office or by calling 928-282-1177 or online at www.SedonaFilmFestival.org. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona.