by Simon Gray

directed by Pete White

presented at the

Maskers' Theatre Bassett


30th March to 3rd April 1976

Click to enlarge and read the preview!

The Preview
Ben Butley Jim Smith
Joseph Keyston John Carrington
Miss Heasman Mary Elliott
Edna Shaft Mollie Manns
Anne Butley Sonia Morris
Reg Nuttall Geoff Wharam
Mr Gardner John Turnbull
For the Maskers:  
Properties Lillian Gunstone
Set Design Kenneth Spencer
Set Construction Alan Baker
Lighting Design Ivan White
Lighting Operator David Bartlett
Sound Recordist Geoff Grandy
Sound Operator Geoff Grandy, Mike Johnson
Technical Director Ron Tillyer
Business Management Brian Stansbridge & Graham Buchanan


The Southampton Evening Echo wrote:

Tour de Force in Masker's 'Butley'

It is not often a role fits an actor as closely as Ben Butley fits Jim Smith, who opened in the Masker's production 'Butley' in Burgess Road, Southampton. Both Butley and Jim Smith are Lecturers in a university English department. And Jim has additional insight into the play --- for he spent a year teaching with the author Simon Gray in Canada.

Jim Smith's performance under Pete White's direction is a tour de force. Not surprisingly it is a part he relishes -- and he is on stage throughout the two hour play. The result is, as intended, a rewarding and moving performance, bringing out the awful and pitiful self-loathing of Ben Butley -- not just the humour. And there is plenty of that in Gray's acerbic, witty and scabrous lines.

Butley is undergoing a crisis. The play shows one disastrous day in his crumbling life -- his wife who has left him announces her intention of remarrying, his homo-sexual partner Joey is on the point of leaving and Butley is having problems with his colleagues and his students, whom he no longer wants to teach..

As well as the central performance, there is a fine and unselfish performance from John Carrington as Joey. He registers Joey's reactions to Butley's outbursts by mainly showing detached understanding.


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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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