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The Skin Game

This event took place on 21 March - 28 April 2007
Written by John Galsworthy
Directed by Sam Walters

All life's a struggle between people...the only thing is to have the rules of the game and keep them. The Hillcrists have owned their land for centuries. The Hornblowers are newly rich business men. The gloves come off when those who want to protect and preserve take up arms against those who want to develop and build.

A fine dramatic play by a prolific playwright, who is perhaps better known as a great novelist. John Galsworthy’s first play, The Silver Box, was premiered in 1906 in a production by Granville Barker at the Royal Court. But his first big commercially successful play was The Skin Game in 1920. Galsworthy was profoundly disturbed by what he witnessed during his time in a French hospital in the First World War and in The Skin Game, which is not on the surface about war at all, he deals with the consequences that arise when those who hold differing, entrenched positions come into conflict

The cast includes Clive Francis as Hornblower and Geoffrey Beevers as Hillcrist.

"In Sam Walters's confident production...the Orange Tree demonstrates once again how well theatre-in-the-round lends itself to intricately observed emotional acting." The Sunday Telegraph

"Compelling viewing. Hugely recommended" Evening Standard – Critic’s Choice

"Another fine rediscovery....Sam Walters directs with understandable relish and this rare, gripping revival comes highly recommended" The Daily Telegraph

"The Orange Tree’s theatre-in-the-round seating arrangement has rarely been so well used as in the magnificent auction scene in which the neighbours go hell for leather to ruin one another." Time Out

"Sam Walters' production catches perfectly the high moral-ironic tone, and there's a first class performance from Cilve Francis as Hornblower" The Sunday Times

"This is a surprisingly angry and vehement play that, in Sam Walters' punchy revival, gets excellent performances." The Guardian

"This engrossing, intelligent production by Sam Walters demonstrates that there’s not only moral ferocity but theatrical fire in Galsworthy yet" The Times

Photos by Robert Day

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