‘Once in a Lifetime’, is a highly-charged satire about three small-time vaudevillians, George (Freddie Ledger), Jay (Arthur Eliot-Cohen) and Jerry (Albi Tufnell), who set out for Hollywood when they heard about the Vita-phone. You know, the talkies? The pictures, that talk.
There, their wild luck, the incompetence of the producers, and the haywire atmosphere of the burgeoning film industry conspire to their greatness. The friends’ journey from having ‘one-hundred and twenty-eight dollars’ to being ‘the new genius of films’ is not without fortune, humour and set-backs. Helen Hobart (Cara Shepherd), the most famous theatre critic in the whole of America, is their first branch of fortune - by whom they are introduced to Herman Glogauer (Freddie Pratt), owner of Glogauer Film Studios. The Studios are home to Weisskopf (Rupert Woods) and Meterstein (Toby Melvin), two driving forces in the production field and Kammerling (Ed Betton), the director of Glogauer’s next big talking picture.
The repetitively annoying receptionist, Mr Leighton (Whit Cook) and, ‘champion chair-warmer’, Laurence Vail (Bertie Berry) have some humorously similar and tedious encounters. Their goal of Hollywood fame is jeopardised by George’s love for Susan (Grace Hunnings), an aspiring actress, whose lack of intelligence makes them a perfect match. With sudden and comical ups, and damning and desperate downs, the play tells the story of three friends with ambitions of hitting the big-time.
The play is directed by Mr James Sheldrake, an English don, who takes on the challenge in just his second term at Radley. Mr Sheldrake’s assistant director is Rory Betley, a 6.1. For most of the cast, this play is their first production at Radley. The boys (and visiting girls) have put countless hours into rehearsals up to three times a week, so let’s hope that the performances do their hard work justice. I hope that they have found the process challenging and enjoyable, because they will certainly learn a lot from their experiences on stage this week, if nothing else.
We encourage everyone of all year groups to watch. Tickets are free and seats a plenty, so come to the theatre to watch the Shell/Remove production of ‘Once in a Lifetime’ written by Kaufman and Hart.
The play is being performed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 15-17th March 2017 at 19:45.