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Orson's Shadow (Unabridged)

Narrated by: full cast
Length: 1 hr and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Sir Laurence Olivier. Orson Welles. Vivien Leigh. Joan Plowright. Kenneth Tynan. When these champions of the theatre get together to rehearse Ionesco's Rhinoceros, mere mortals best step aside. With lightning wit and scathing insight into the true nature of genius, Austin Pendleton's new play opens the private worlds of these very public people, exposing their warmth, their egos, and their glittering madness.

Starring (in alphabetical order):
Caroline Goodall as Joan Plowright
Glenne Headly as Vivien Leigh
Martin Jarvis as Laurence Olivier
Robert Machray as Orson Welles
Orlando Seale as Sean
Simon Templeman as Kenneth Tynan

©2006 Austin Pendleton (P)2003 L.A. Theatre Works

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Profile Image for Gwynne O'Reagan
  • Gwynne O'Reagan
  • 17-02-07

Fascinating!

A fine production of a play about actors and the artistic process. It covers the challenging effort to work together by two of the 20th Century's great stage talents--Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier--in the absurdist playwright Ionesco's "Rhinoceros." The actors do a wonderful job--I particularly enjoyed Martin Jarvis's fine reproduction of Olivier's voice and intonations. The only weak link is Gleane Headley's brave but essentially unsuccessful attempt to evoke Vivien Leigh, which I admit is an almost impossible task. Altogether, however, this production is a fine effort that is highly enjoyable. Movie and stage buffs (particularly of the 1940s thru '60s) will have the most fun.

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