Thursday, 3 December 2009

McGoohan on your mind? - Stage Whisper

I may, in earlier polemical blogs, have mentioned the play Serjeant Musgraves Dance that Patrick McGoohan performed in, in 1961, that has some elements that he seemed to exploit in his Fall Out episode, six years later. The play is finally being released by Network in February next year.

For anyone interested in the origins of The Prisoner, this might be more essential viewing than Orson Welles' movie version of Kafka's The Trial.

Be Seeing It.......

This is the contemporary review from "The Stage", the British theatre magazine.

"Drama set in the past that shrieks with symbolism must have some contemporary significance. So it is with Serjeant Musgrave's Dance.

John Arden's play set in an isolated strike-bound colliery town in Victorian England about a macabre recruiting party led by a religious fanatic on a mission of expiatory vengeance is a stark cry against war and imperialism mingled with a more obscure message condemning violence as a means of ending war and injustice. That at least is one interpretation.

His dramatic technique shows strong Brechtian influence, with poor humble people sprouting wisdom and rhyming couplets. Patrick McGoohan gave a powerful, sustained, and brilliant portrayal of the Serjeant - a giant of a man filled with guilt and righteousness, irrevocably committed to his insane search for atonement."

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