Oxford. Summer 1933. Brideshead Revisited meets The History Boys.
Tony and David have been best friends throughout their time at university, but does their loyalty go deeper? When Tony falls in love with the beautiful movie star Margot Gresham, in Oxford to appear in a play with the undergraduates, their relationship is put to the test. Both touching and uproariously funny, First Episode is one of the earliest plays to deal explicitly with homosexuality, and for lovers of Rattigan's work it is fascinating to see the first fruits of his creativity. First Episode was Rattigan's first play, written while he was still a student. It transferred to the West End and Broadway in 1934. Lost in the archives for decades, this is its first ever revival.
STARRING: Caroline Langrishe
CAST: Adam Buchanan, Gavin Fowler, Harry Gostelow, Alex Hope, Molly Hanson, Philip Labey
★★★★★ One of the most impressive pieces of theatre I’ve seen for a long time … A true masterclass in acting from Caroline Langrishe. Terry Eastham, London Theatre
★★★★It is astonishing to think that this first play by Terence Rattigan, seen briefly in London and New York in 1934, has been gathering dust for 80 years. Tom Littler’s well-cast production captures vividly the hedonistic irresponsibility of privileged, pre-war undergraduate life … Even at 22, Rattigan was a born dramatist. Michael Billington, The Guardian
★★★★ But the remarkable thing is that this young Rattigan, despite his obvious debt to Coward comedies, is drilling deep already into the dark. Into emotional male bonding, the alien strength and vulnerability of women, and the profound sadness of impossible love. This terrific, close-up, thoughtful production does him honour. Libby Purves, Theatre Cat