Barrymore

by  William Luce

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m

"A dazzler! A portrait of riveting complexity and paradox that finds the balletic elegance in a drunken stagger, the poetry in a blue joke and the churning guts in rarefied verse. As [Barrymore] walks toward his own death it's with the jaunty [...]" - The New York Times

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Christopher Plummer won a Tony for his portrayal of John Barrymore in the acclaimed Broadway production of this work by the master of one-character biographies for the stage. Each act begins with a stunning entrance onto a stage that the sixty-year-old legendary actor has rented to prepare for a comeback performance of Richard III. Barrymore jokes with the audience, spars with an offstage prompter, reminisces about better times, and does delicious imitations of his siblings Lionel and Ethel.
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Reviews

"A dazzler! A portrait of riveting complexity and paradox that finds the balletic elegance in a drunken stagger, the poetry in a blue joke and the churning guts in rarefied verse. As [Barrymore] walks toward his own death it's with the jaunty panache of a boulevardier off to meet his new mistress. - The New York Times

"As good as one man shows get."" - The New Yorker

"A staggering success... Must be seen, must be savored." - New York Post

"A perfect image of Barrymore." - New York Daily News

Considerations

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII, 1920s
  • Setting: In a New York theatre in the spring of 1942.

Casting

2m

JOHN BARRYMORE - the famed actor

PROMPTER - an offstage male voice

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Cast Attributes

  • All Male

Casting Notes

Plus 1 offstage male voice

Resources

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Authors

William Luce

William Luce wrote his Broadway and London success The Belle of Amherst for Julie Harris, who won her fifth Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Emily Dickinson. For American soprano Renée Fleming, Luce wrote My Business Is To Love, which Fleming premiered in Lincoln Cente ...

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First produced at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario Canada in 1996 directed by Gene Saks.

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