Plain English: May 2012 Archives

Here's my contribution to the Jubilee. In the summer or early autumn of 1986 I was commissioned by the NY Times - Magazine, I think I remember - to write a piece on the queen and her then prime minister, who was Margaret Thatcher. There had been some trivial business about the two of them wearing the same dress, and this led to a piece in the (British) Sunday Times saying there was some tension between the two 60 year-olds. The tiff has been dredged up for the Jubilee and you can read a summary of it at


May 28, 2012 4:27 PM | | Comments (0)


Last night I saw the final, reduced-price "preview" of the new London production of Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys." It opens tonight, and in my review, to be published tomorrow, I express the hope that the play will improve when the run starts for real. Almost exactly the same thing happened at the end of February, when critics were allowed in early to see a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's "Absent Friends."

         Then, too, I noted a distinct absence of ensemble playing. A really talented cast, playing a pretty good piece by one of the best living playwrights, just wasn't giving their all. As I wrote in my review, I knew in my bones that the production simply was not as lackluster as it seemed at this last preview: the performances hadn't gelled, but it felt as though some of the actors were holding back. And, sure enough, the actual press night notices were better than those given by my preview colleagues and me.

·Danny DeVito (Willie Clark)

  • Richard Griffiths (Al Lewis)
  •  ·        

    May 17, 2012 3:47 PM | | Comments (0)

    Me Elsewhere


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    This page is a archive of recent entries written by Plain English in May 2012.

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