Maskers' Studio Theatreon
15th to 19th March 2005
The Philanthropist is a comedy about social decline.
Philip. a naïve, happy, bourgeois young man lives in a cocoon of world-play and anagrams and is fascinated at the way words reflect the health of society -- "words illustrating civilisation". He is an idealist who always believes the best in other people.
All the characters around him however are decadent in some way or other. They reflect the way society has declined since the great achievements of the Empire days. They are cynical, lazy, selfish and generally foolish. Philip is the only altruistic character among them. His decision to give up smoking reflects his desire to remain young, healthy and hopeful, but by the end of the play, when he has lost everything, he goes back to smoking in despair and anxiety. He has given in. His positive outlook on life has turned out to be ridiculously sane and he has decided to join the others and take his place in the decadent society of the 1970's.
At the end, it's almost as if Christopher Hampton himself is saying "I hate thee sterile anagram":- The Author, the man of words, is saying that his play is bourgeois and of no value, that the life he leads as a playwright will do nothing to help the underprivileged in the third world. It's interesting that some of Christopher Hampton's serious plays are about the way Britain exploits the poorer countries of the world.
Albie and Jez Minns.
|For the Maskers|
|Production Manager||Lyn Austin|
|Production Assistant||Caroline Irwin|
|Stage Managers||Lyn Austin and Paul Mills|
|Lighting Design||Nathan Weeks|
|Lighting Assistant||Kathryn Salmon|
|Special Effects||Graham Buchanan|
|Set Design and Construction||Graham Buchanan and Caroline Irwin|
|Properties and Furnishing||Gill Buchanan, Lyn Austin, Clare Minns, Tony Austin, Caroline Irwin|
|Box Office||Alan Baker|
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