Look on the bright side at the Loft

Richard Marshall in The Philanthropist

Richard Marshall in The Philanthropist

Can being positive all the time be as irritating to friends and colleagues as being misreable?

Christopher Hampton’s bourgeois comedy The Philanthropist staged in Leamington aims to answer this question and is an inversion of Moliere’s classic The Misanthrope.

Philip, a university don, is about to marry Celia. As their friends gather for a dinner party, thefestivities are over­shadowed by a shocking event that had occurred a few days before.

Despite his best intentions, Philip’s compulsive amiability and emotional insecurity upset his guests andthe evening brings out the worst in everyone.

Ensuing events turn his world upside down. Can hepull through the turbulence into calmer waters or is he doomed?

Following a try­out at The Royal Court Theatre in London, the play premiered on Broadway in March 1971 where it won three Tony Awards.

A BBC adaptation with Helen Mirren followed andits revival at the Donmar in London in 2005 brought further accolades.

Director Sue Moore has brought together a cast that she hopes will do justice to this acclaimed work, including Richard Marshall as Philip and Ruth Herd as Celia.

“What strikes me working on thisplay”, says Sue, “is how comic, poignant and affecting it is.

“There is something really piercing being said about how we are and how we live our lives.

“It is very funny and very, very touching and also has one of the best coup de theatre’s I’ve witnessed!”

The Philanthropist runs at The Loft Theatre, Victoria Colonnade, Leamington Spa fromWednesday 16 March to Saturday 26 March 2016, with a performance each evening at 7.30pm(except Sunday).

Tickets can be booked online at any time via the Loft Theatre Company website at www.loft­theatre.co.uk or by calling 0844 493 4938 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

In addition, the box office will be open from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on Monday and Tuesday March 14 and 15, and on each performance evening.

Tickets are £5 for under 25s and NUS card holders for sjows Monday and Tuesday March 21 and 22 subject to availability. These tickets must be bought on the night and not in advance.