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Hindle Wakes

Mint Theater Company presents "Hindle Wakes" by Stanley Houghton. 12/23/17 through 2/17/18 at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd St.

A Day By the Sea

After our acclaimed production of A PICTURE OF AUTUMN, Mint revisited the work of playwright N.C. Hunter with A DAY BY THE SEA. A warm, human, and often humorous depiction of the ‘crisis’ of middle age, the play tells the story of Julian Anson, a once-promising Foreign Service employee, who confronts professional disappointment and personal failure while picnicking along the English seaside.

N.C. Hunter (1908-1971) was one of the leading English dramatists of the 1950s and early 1960s. As theatrical revolution—spearheaded by John Osborne and his school of “angry young men”—exploded around him, Hunter kept his head down and provided moving portraits of a people questioning their own purpose in chaotic post-war England.

Donogoo

In DONOGOO by Jules Romains, ambition and imagination collude to create fact out of fraud. The play tells the story of Lamendin, a desperate man, and Le Trouhadec, a professor of geography who longs for election to the Academy of Sciences. Together they unwittingly set in motion a stock market swindle of global proportions. Investors, pioneers and prospectors alike are driven to seek their fortune in Donogoo—a place that doesn’t exist.

Romains was born Louis-Henri-Jean Farigoule on August 26, 1885 in the village of Saint-Julien Chapteuil.  He spent most of his childhood in Paris, where his father was a teacher.  In 1902, he also published his first poem, “Le Chef-d’oeuvre” (“The Masterpiece”) in La Revue jeune.  He published under the pen name he would use the rest of his life—Jules Romains—so chosen because it was easy to pronounce, memorable, and expressed his love of Rome.

A Picture of Autumn

“N.C. Hunter’s beautiful, shamefully neglected comedy was performed only once in London in 1951, and receives its American premiere here,” wrote The New Yorker of Mint Theater’s A PICTURE OF AUTUMN. “It’s about an aging, once prosperous family living in an aging, once grand manor, and the echoes of Chekhov are unmistakable, if subdued and Anglicized. It’s a big, generous play, exquisitely written, both funny and touching.” 1

N.C. HUNTER (1908-1971) was one of the leading English dramatists of the 1950s and early 1960s. As theatrical revolution—spearheaded by John Osborne and his school of “angry young men”—exploded around him, Hunter kept his head down and provided moving portraits of a people questioning their own purpose in chaotic post-war England.

Dr. Knock

Health care reform of a darkly comic kind drives DR. KNOCK, OR THE TRIUMPH OF MEDICINE, Jules Romains’ tart 1923 satire of the medical profession. The play, which Mint Theater revived “with consummate savoir-faire”1 in 2010, proved once again “that one of the best ways to be topical is to look to the past”2

Romains ranked among the most produced playwrights in the world during the 1930’s, alongside Shaw and Pirandello.  His most famous work, the 27 volume novel Men of Good Will, is comparable to the works of Zola and Proust in scale and ambition.  Romains believed it was the duty of the twentieth century writer “to discover beneath the appearances of the modern world a spiritual reality more profound than he ever before has tried to find.”

The Madras House

In 2007 THE MADRAS HOUSE was seen by New York audiences for the first time since 1921. The production continued Mint’s work in championing Harley Granville Barker’s neglected drama in the U.S., after producing the American Premiere of THE VOYSEY INHERITANCE, in 1999

It would be hard to exaggerate the seminal role played by the actor, director, playwright and polemicist Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946) in the development of 20th-century British theatre.

The Charity That Began at Home

George Bernard Shaw called St. John Hankin “the Mephistopheles of the new comedy.” At Hankin’s funeral, Shaw eulogized him as “a most gifted writer of the high comedy of the kind that is a stirring and important criticism of life.” Granville Barker rated THE CHARITY THAT BEGAN AT HOME as the best of Hankin’s plays and Hankin himself agreed.

St John (pronounced Sin Gin) Hankin began to contribute humorous essays and dramatic parodies including new “last-acts” for well-known plays to Punch magazine 1898.  In 1901 some of his contributions were anthologized as Mr. Punch’s Dramatic Sequels.  Hankin also contributed about seventy drama reviews to The London Times before beginning his career as a playwright in 1903 with The Two Mr. Wetherby’s.  Hankin was actively involved in running the Stage Society, a London theater group that supported plays of literary merit, founded in part, to avoid the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship.

A Farewell to The Theater & The Flattering Word

Having struck theatrical gold with THE VOYSEY INHERITANCE in 1999, Mint Theater revisited Harley Granville-Barker with a world premiere of his 1916 one-act comedy, A FAREWELL TO THE THEATRE. “Although it’s taken 84 years to mount this subtle work, the Mint has made it worth the wait” wrote Jason Zinoman in Time Out New York. Critics and audiences were enchanted by the play, which, as per Zinoman’s elegant summation, tells “an intimate and emotionally nuanced story about the unrequited love between a fading grande dame and her sad-eyed lawyer.”1

It would be hard to exaggerate the seminal role played by the actor, director, playwright and polemicist Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946) in the development of 20th-century British theatre.

The Voysey Inheritance

“Some playwrights are overlooked in their lifetimes, others unjustly forgotten after their deaths. A few are both. One of these is the English playwright Harley Granville-Barker, a contemporary and friend of Bernard Shaw who was also an actor, director and Shakespearean scholar. And he’s left three or four plays that are among the masterpieces of early 20th-century drama. Don’t believe me? Go to the Mint Theater which this week re-opened a perfectly splendid production of one of Granville-Barker’s finest plays, THE VOYSEY INHERITANCE,”1 wrote Clive Barnes of the New York Post.

Harley Granville-Barker (Playwright) was born in London in 1877. He began his stage career on tour, performing with Mrs. Patrick Campbell, before he made his first London appearance in 1892. He was only twenty-three when George Bernard Shaw in 1900 cast him as Eugene Marchbanks in CANDIDA, from which there grew a fifteen-year professional and personal relationship so binding that many came to believe Barker was Shaw’s illegitimate son. He joined forces with the manager John E. Vedrenne to found the Court Theatre, London, in 1904 which was to become the first modern repertory theatre in the English-speaking world.

The House of Mirth

The first New York revival in 92 years of the 1906 play adapted from Edith Wharton’s novel, the Mint’s elegant production of THE HOUSE OF MIRTH preserved Wharton and Fitch’s script while also harkening back to its source, adding dialogue from the novel and restoring its tragic ending.

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