29 August 2003 | slr_image
A Fascinating Little Work
I came across this DVD the other day, and despite never having heard of it, bought it on the strength of the cast alone. How happy I am to have listened to my intuition! It is a fascinating and delightful 1978 TV adaptation of a play (Best Play of 1949), with Joan Plowright as the ostensibly titled character. She is actually Lady Pitts, the 50ish wife of the 87 year old Lord Pitts (Olivier). When the play opens, we find her knocking back numerous double brandies and commencing to sing and tell stories of her youth. Her apparent charm and eccentricities serve to entrance the young Polish student at the table next to her, who promptly decides she is his Beatrice, his Daphne. The rest of the play involves a rather confused tea party, the young man's passionate attachment to Lady Pitts and the ensuing consequences. It is utterly charming, gentle, and beautifully acted by the superb Plowright. Olivier is as ever, in a fairly small part, but the young Polish student, played by Clive Arindell is very interesting to watch, as his face shows the joys and pains of young love. I would highly recommend taking a chance on this little film.