Not the least of the play’s pleasures is the evident delight Edward Fox takes in the role of John Betjeman, a delight he easily, comfortably makes us all share.
That niggling back-of-the-mind voice protesting “But I haven’t got the least interest in John Betjeman” is quickly stilled – and replaced with a much more positive “You have now!”
From the opening seconds in this one-man tour de force, Fox grabs us with an engaging, seemingly effortless performance – an apparent effortlessness which belies the depth of skill which underpins this beautiful portrait of a warm, amused and amusing man.
There are plenty of priceless, laugh-out-loud moments just as there is also wistfulness, gentleness, wisdom and poignancy, Fox delivering it all with oodles of charm and obvious, fully-justified affection.
But maybe the piece’s greatest success is the way writer Hugh Whitemore and then performer Fox seamlessly interweave the poetry. You barely notice the transition so cleverly do Fox, Whitemore and director Gareth Armstrong show the poetry to be – in wit and warmth – the natural emanation of the man.
This is a beautiful piece brought to life by an absolute master of his craft.
Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.