The Dresser – 900×600
The Dresser, playing at the Duke Of York's Theatre

The Dresser

Published October 14, 2016

What’s it all about?

Set against the backdrop of a tatty regional theatre in the midst of World War II, Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser tells the tale of Sir, an ageing, once-famous, actor-manager and his long-suffering, dedicated dresser Norman, as they struggle to keep the show on the road.

Sir has discharged himself from hospital; he arrives at theatre dishevelled, weeping and confused. Whilst all around him want to cancel the show, Norman persuades him to perform his King Lear one more time.

Who’s in it?

Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott take the lead as Norman, the dresser, and Sir respectively, with Harriet Thorpe playing Her Ladyship. Ken triumphs as Sir, one moment striding about the stage delivering Shakespeare lines, and the next almost childlike in his surprise as he’s told that the audience thought his performance was better than Michelangelo’s.

What should I look out for?

Reece Shearsmith’s performance. He delivers perfect comic timing, fully embodying the role of the obsequious Norman, from the subtlest camp nuance right through to his heart-breaking final scene.

What’s being said on Twitter?

In a nutshell?

A superbly acted comedy on the persistence and toils of art and ageing.


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