Drawing the Line (play)

Drawing the Line is a 2013 play by Howard Brenton, centred on Cyril Radcliffe and his part in the Partition of India. It premiered from 3 December 2013 to 11 January 2014, in a production directed by Howard Davies at the Hampstead Theatre.[1]

Storyline

The play tells the story of Cyril Radcliffe and the boundary commission for the Punjab portion of the eponymous Radcliffe Line. “Ignorant of India, mathematics or map-reading, the principled Radcliffe finds himself the victim of despair, as well as Delhi belly, and enmeshed in a whole series of escalating conflicts.”[2]

Production history

The debut run of the play was completely sold out. Thousands of people from 80+ countries also tuned in to watch the final performance streamed on the web in association with the Guardian.[3][4]

Critical reception

Reviews and comments[5][6] were generally positive though there were critiques of some embellishments to the story. Compliments included "brilliantly staged",[7] "absorbing",[8] and "gives a vivid picture of the pressures of the time".[9] Criticisms included that the play "fails to soar"[10] and "brushes the boundaries of caricature".[11]

Portrayal of historical figures

As Lord Mountbatten, "Andrew Havill gets beneath the cold, defender of the realm, exterior to eventually present him in a more human light, as a man with weaknesses and vulnerabilities that lead to him believing resolving his personal problems was justification for resorting to political expedience when everything else would tell him otherwise."[12]

In a live webchat, Howard Brenton answered questions about his acclaimed play and his career. Defending his portrayal of Cyril Radcliffe as a man who struggled with his conscience, Brenton said “There were clues that Radcliffe had a dark night of the soul in the bungalow: he refused to accept his fee, he did collect all the papers and draft maps, took them home to England and burnt them. And he refused to say a word, even to his family, about what happened. My playwright’s brain went into overdrive when I discovered these details.”[13]

References

  1. "Hampstead Theatre Schedule". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  2. "Guardian Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  3. "Playbill Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  4. "Storyacious Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  5. "Evening Standard Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  6. "Storyacious Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  7. "The Arts Desk Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  8. "Huffington Post Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  9. "Guardian Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  10. "A Younger Theatre Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  11. "Telegraph Review of Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  12. "The Public Reviews: Drawing the Line". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  13. "Web Chat with Howard Brenton". Retrieved 14 July 2014.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.