Wednesday, 20 September 2017


"The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief." - William Shakespeare, Othello

And so to the theatre. The previous post mentioned the sitcom about Selwyn Froggitt. At exactly the same time that was being made in YTV's Kirkstall Road studios they were also making the far superior 'Rising Damp'. It is fitting therefore that I have just been to see a play by Eric Chappell, the man who put the words into the mouth of Rigsby, and who was obliged to write a lot more of them because Leonard Rossiter spoke so quickly.

'Theft' is described as a comedy thriller, but turns out not to involve any thrills at all. However, it provides sufficient laughs and so we'll let that pass. One doesn't have to be a devotee of Priestley to see that Chappell had 'An Inspector Calls' in his mind when he wrote it, with an outsider who may not be what he seems to be disturbing a superficially comfortable bourgeois status quo. The writer is mostly known for his dialogue, but here he also provides the main character with a most amusing entrance. I saw Northern Broadsides use a similar coup de theatre in their production of Dario Fo's 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' a few years ago and once again it was most effective here.

And since we're on the subject of theft:

“And America, too, is a delusion, the grandest one of all. The white race believes - believes with all its heart - that it is their right to take the land. To kill Indians. Make war. Enslave their brothers. This nation shouldn't exist, if there is any justice in the world, for its foundations are murder, theft, and cruelty.” - Colson Whitehead

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