Terence Rattigan: Man and Boy

BBC Radio 3: Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 25th October 1998 @ 7:30 p.m.

"Man and Boy" looks at the career of Gregor Antonescu, a man who seems to have much in common with Citizen Kane and, rather more surprisingly in view of the fact that the play was written in 1963, even more with Robert Maxwell. The story is a simple one of a man who has built his empire on fraud and ‘snitching’ of money from his business deals and is seeing it coming down in tumbling ruins around him.

The play is set in 1934 in a small, shabby apartment in Greenwich Village, home of bar pianist Basil Anthony. Powerful financier Gregor Antonescu, "The greatest financier in the world" and "the man who rescued Europe" in 1926, visits his estranged son, Basil, at his apartment in an attempt to extricate himself from the most catastrophic disaster of his career.

Basil still loves his father despite having run out on him, after firing a shot over his head, five years before. Suddenly, the grubby apartment has become a centre of high finance as Antonescu, with the help of his loyal henchman Sven, take over the apartment and begins to set up a sting that he hopes will force the Mark Herris, CEO of American Electrics, to continue with a temporarily abandoned takeover. The great man's empire might be crumbling but, just maybe, the master of manipulation might still have one trick (in more than one sense) left. But it will involve him in duping his son into appearing to be his young male lover.

The play confronts the relationship between a father and son against a backdrop of love, betrayal and high finance.

"Man and Boy" was first performed on stage at The Queen's Theatre, London, in 1963.

With Alan Bates [Gregor Antonescu], James Laurenson [Mark Herries, CEO of American Electrics], David Bradley [Sven Johnson, Gregor's Assistant], Catherine Cusack [Carol Penn, Basil's Girlfriend], John Light [Basil Anthony (Vasili), Gregor's Son], Nick Waring [David Beeston, an Accountant of American Electrics / The Radio Announcer], and Anne Carroll [Countess Florence Antonescu, Gregor's Wife].

Music composed and performed by Peter Hayward.

Directed by John Dove.

85 min.


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