Last week Pankaja went to see the play in London and she tells us all about it.
A funny family drama by Stephen Beresford (an actor, this is his first play apparently, but it definitely sounds as if his mum was a sannyasin!). Julie Walters plays Judy Haussman, with Rory Kinnear (Libby) and Helen McCrory (Nick) as her children. Directed by Howard Davies.
First act sets the scene with lot of boozing and Julie Walters looking unnecessarily ancient as she and the local doctor relive the ’60’s and her kids bellyache. Unsatisfied daughter who wants the decrepit family mansion. Gay, drug addict son and teen nightmare granddaughter. All complain about their lives, expectations, etc. Big posters of Osho (Bhagwan) on the walls.
Second act is a beautiful unravelling of all this – expectations turned on their heads: Grandaughter having been sent against her will to stay with the father (she’s never met) decides she wants to live with him and his new wife. Julie Walters (the mum) tells them all to forget about the old house, leave, get out, live their own lives and be free… Daughter gets the house, but is cheated out of it by the timing doctor lover – and finds she doesn’t want it after all. Son and daughter remember mad times with their mum in India – with love… Sex object neighbour, turned sporting success, says he was inspired by the mad old hippy sannyasin lady, (now dead), doctor lover having been taken back by his wife and having got the house finds that ‘forgiveness can be a form of torture’. (Great last line!)
Big photo of Osho in the programme, and this in one of the main auditoria of the National Theatre in London UK, as part of the cultural Olympic celebration. Jai Osho!
Pankaja, Osho News
‘The Last of the Haussmans’ It will be playing until 11 October and will be broadcast as part of NT Live on 11 October and varying dates internationally: nationaltheatre.org.uk