Daily Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Evening Standard, Time Out
"the current clever programming at the Orange Tree... has unearthed a bit of a gem in The Man Who Pays the Piper... The relationship between the couple, and between Daryll and her chaotic, Mitford-esque family, is rendered with both verve and subtlety by director Helen Leblique."
"Helen Leblique's sparkling revival of The Man Who Plays The Piper
, a shrewd and delightful... 1931 comedy by G B Stern"Paul Taylor, Independent Read the full review
"Mullins is excellent as the conflicted Darryl, brilliant, generous, and exuding elegant, waspish wit to the very tips of her fingernails. A sharp, stylish provocation."
Sam Marlowe, The Times
"The too-often overlooked Orange Tree always has a sure touch with theatrical rediscoveries. They’ve hit on another winner with this 1930 drama from GB (Gladys Bronwen) Stern, one of the most prolific female writers of the 20th century. Stern’s sophisticated examination of gender roles, economic power and the pressures of the working world rings just as true some 83 years later." Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard Read the full review
"Deirdre Mullins's outstanding performance as Daryll. Tall, blonde and striking... there is first-rate support from Emily Tucker as Daryll's flighty sister, Christopher Ravenscroft as her bullying father and Stuart Fox as an out-of-work popular musician"
"It’s great fun and in Helen Leblique’s vibrant production the jokes come as fast as the jibes. Infused with the glamour and rapier wit that defined Evelyn Waugh’s Bright Young Things, Stern presents a delightfully landscaped battlefield for her heroine."
1913: eighteen year old Daryll Fairley, an ebullient young suffragette, dances the Argentine Tango around the family hallway and announces her determination to be financially independent. Just over a decade later she has it all: the power to vote, a flourishing creative business, a faithful boyfriend, deferential siblings, and the fame to be able to demand a last-minute table at all the best restaurants. But does it make her happy?
GB Stern was one of the most prolific women writers of the 20s and 30s. She published her first novel in 1920 and published a novel every year until 1964. She also wrote a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson, co-wrote dialogues on Jane Austen, and was a contributing writer to the 1933 film of Little Women starring Katharine Hepburn.
Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes (including interval)
Production images by Robert Day