The Potting Shed

The Potting Shed

"The Potting Shed" is a play by Graham Greene. The psychological drama centers on a secret held by the Callifer family for nearly thirty years.

The patriarch of the family is dying and James, his estranged son, appears unexpectedly. He can remember nothing about a mysterious moment that occurred in the family's potting shed when he was 14-years-old. Family members who recall the event are unwilling to describe it to him. With the help of a psychoanalyst, James tries to recall just what happened that day that left him rejected by his father, alienated from his family, and alone in the world.

The Broadway production was directed by Carmen Capalbo. It opened on January 29, 1957 at the Bijou Theatre and later moved to the John Golden Theatre to complete its run of 143 performances. Robert Flemyng starred as James Callifer and Sybil Thorndike, Frank Conroy, Leueen MacGrath, Joan Croydon, Lewis Casson, and Carol Lynley were cast in supporting roles.

"Time" said, "The play's emotional power derives from its harassed outcries and silences, from very human bafflements and needs, from a truly serious man's intensities and jocosities alike . . . for two acts, culminating in a superbly dramatic revelation scene, "The Potting Shed", by its writing and storytelling alike, more and more grips and stirs its audience."

Awards and nominations

*Tony Award for Best Play (nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Sybil Thorndike, nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play (Frank Conroy, winner)
*Theatre World Award (Carol Lynley, winner)

creen adaptations

In 1961, Paul Bogart directed the play for the American television series "Play of the Week". Frank Conroy reprised his Broadway role. The cast also included John Baragrey as James Callifer and Ludwig Donath, Ann Harding, Fritz Weaver, and Nancy Wickwire in supporting roles. A 1981 television production of the play was written by Pat Sandys and produced by Yorkshire Television for the London Weekend Television series "Celebrity Playhouse". The cast, directed by David Cunliffe, included Paul Scofield as James Callifer and Anna Massey, Maurice Denham, Celia Johnson, David Swift, Allan Cuthbertson, and Cyril Luckham in supporting roles.

External links

* [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?id=2606 Internet Broadway Database entry]
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809068,00.html?iid=chix-sphere "Time" review]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0675410/ 1961 "Play of the Week" production]
* [http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/59176 1981 "Celebrity Playhouse" production]


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