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Travels With My Aunt - Full Length Play, Comedy

Travels With My Aunt

Graham Greene, Giles Havergal

Full Length Play, Comedy


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Full Length Play


Graham Greene's touching comic novel has been given an inspired theatrical fulfillment. "It's a thoroughly engrossing evening that starts off looking like theatrical gimmickry but evolves into something far more involving as one is drawn inexorably into the tale. The gimmick is that every member of the cast of four plays the central figure, Henry Pulling, sometimes simultaneously. They also play any number of other characters as well. Henry is a bachelor bank clerk of 30 bored years' tenure,his only pleasure derives from the cultivation of dahlias,who at age 55 reunites with his 75-year-old aunt at his mother's cremation. Aunt Augusta promptly informs him that the deceased was in truth his stepmother, his long-dead father having been something of 'a hound.' The true identity of his mother is a mystery, though less of one by play's end. Aunt Augusta frees Henry from servitude at the bank as they set off on a series of journeys across Europe to Istanbul and, ultimately, to South America. Among the people who will figure significantly in their travels are Augusta's intimate African valet, Wordsworth; her long-lost Italian love, the shady Mr. Visconti; Miss Keene, a spinster who ends up in South Africa yet holds for Henry the possibility of love nearly to the end; a stoned American girl following her boyfriend to Nepal; her father, who shows up in Paraguay and may or may not be a CIA agent; and a randy Irish wolfhound. If all this sounds like an elaborate game of Clue,well, you don't know Graham Greene. Beneath the comedy is a layer of intrigue, and beneath that, a catalog of moral concerns touching on espionage, art smuggling and other issues. In the end, Henry accommodates himself to the equivocations that have brought Aunt Augusta comfortably to where she is. Travels With My Auntstarts off as a lark but ends as a dream gone awry: As Henry Pulling smugly decrees that 'all's right with the world.' we know it is anything but." (Variety) Area staging.



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