Initially, we had difficulty in attracting audiences because we faced a Catch 22 situation. Producers were not keen on bringing their plays here because, as a new theatre, we had no history of staging drama. On the other hand, we could not start staging plays because producers did not want to risk them in a new theatre!
Eventually Artistic Director, Ronald Selwyn Phillips, was prevailed upon to write a series of new plays to place Barons Court on the map. His first contribution, Guy de Maupassant’s comedy trilogy “SEX AND SADNESS” was a considerable success (and has since been staged all over the country, winning First Prize at the Brecon Play Festival). He followed this up with 5 new plays in the next 18 months (particularly adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s “THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY" and "LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME” and Kafka’s “IN THE PRISON COLONY” – the latter two are now feature films).
One of his biggest successes was an adaptation of Chekhov’s “THE BUTTERFLY”, a comedy about Olga Dymov, a beautiful young wife who has affairs with young men all over Moscow, until she eventually meets her match in a Bohemian artist, Peter Ryabovsky.
It has been re-staged many times, the last outing in 1999. It will be Ronald Selwyn Phillips’ last production at Barons Court. Don’t miss it.
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