The Old Masters archiveThe play looks at the world of the market in Fine Art - exploring issues of true value, of provenance, and of forgery and fraud, artistic and personal - via the real life relationship between Joseph Duveen, the world's pre-eminent Art dealer and Bernard Berenson, renowned Art critic.


Edward Fox, Peter Bowles, Barbara Jefford, Sally Dexter, Steven Pacey


Author: Simon Gray
Producer: Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Director: Harold Pinter
Design: Eileen Diss
Costume: Dany Everett
Lighting: Mick Hughes
Sound: John Leonard
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

The Old Masters

The Old Masters (Play) production archive for QTIX code T546909096. Details of all The Old Masters archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S1041772963

Archive Listings

26 Jun 04
18 Dec 04
The Harold Pinter Theatre
West End
Greater London
4 Jun 04
19 Jun 04
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
West Midlands

UKTW News/Reviews


User Reviews

USER (10Jun04): The Old Masters, A New Play by Simon Gray Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 10 June 2004 Starring Edward Fox, Peter Bowles, Barbara Jefford with Sally Dexter and Steven Pacey. This production directed by Harold Pinter opened last week and is yet another prestigious production for Birmingham Rep. At today’s matinee a near capacity house enjoyed playwright Simon Gray at his finest. The opportunity to see this play prior to its opening at the Comedy Theatre, in the West End later this month is a feather in the cap for the Rep and Birmingham and patrons have been treated to a play of excellence and a cast to dream for. I also have to mention that seeing the play in Birmingham has saved the pocket and that is good for all theatregoers in the region. Set in a villa outside Florence in 1937, the play is about the validity of a painting and a lot more. The dialogue between BB (Bernard Berenson) played excellently by Edward Fox and his terminally ill wife Mary played so believably by Barbara Jefford is all about marriage, commitment, his long term mistress/secretary Nicky played by the elegant and beautifully attired Sally Dexter, as well as truth, deception and the impending war. Steven Pacey has a pivotal role in Act 1 as the messenger, the setter upper and failing to arrange what his boss Joseph Duveen wanted brings Peter Bowles to the front door late at night in his homburg hat and long dark coat. Right from the start the dialogue between Fox and Bowles, two great actors, is sparkling and witty. I got the sense of the merchant Duveen bartering with the academic Berenson and as the play unfolds we see both defeated, beautifully. The set designed by Eileen Diss who has an impressive number of television, film and theatre productions to her credit is impressive giving an idea of the style in which the Berensons lived. Dany Everett is the costume designer and a wealth of theatre experience has produced immaculate costumes for the entire cast, which capture the period so well. Lighting designer Mick Hughes started lighting back in 1962 and since then worked his way around the world resulting is a perfect balance from start to finish. John Leonard is the sound designer and with over 30 years experience it could be heard right down to the chirping of the birds outside the villa. All in all an impressive play, beautifully directed and immaculately acted. Clive Fuller

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