THE NEW YORKER
TABLOID TYCOON'S TALE BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
September 24, 2012
There must be no shortage of little-known, finely crafted, funny, thought-provoking plays exploring the fracturing of English society in the early twentieth century, because the Mint Theatre Company keeps coming up with them. The latest is this 1911 work by Allan Monkhouse (better known for “The Conquering Hero”), a play not seen in New York since 1919. Monkhouse takes a melodramatic schema—wastrel young man of privilege, pregnant housemaid—and populates it with flesh-and-blood characters, examining the repercussions in precise, unsettling, unexpected detail. The director, Jonathan Bank, sets an excellent tone and rhythm for his fine cast to thrive in, mining the laughs but not shying away from the anger and emotion. As the “artistic,” responsibility-free Leonard Timbrell, Roderick Hill brings terrific charm and facility of language to a challenging part, while Janie Brookshire, in the title role, slowly, quietly builds a moving portrait of a woman of action.