Tom Stoppard ROUGH CROSSING Theatre Programme Signed by Eric Sykes and Others
The programme is in very good condition with minimal storage and handling wear. Internally the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears or other inscriptions apart from those already mentioned.
In the 1930s, successful Hungarian playwrights Sandor Turai and Alex Gal, collaborators for twenty years, arrive aboard the luxury transatlantic liner SS Italian Castle, which is about to sail from Cherbourg to New York, where they are to present their latest musical comedy, The Cruise of the Dodo. They are accompanied by their young French composer, Adam Adam, a former actor who was forced to end his stage career after contracting a strange speech impediment brought on by the return of his terrifying mother from prison.
The three intend to surprise their stars, the glamorous Eastern European actress Natasha Navratilova and the intellectually-challenged English actor Ivor Fish, with the newest song from the as yet unfinished play. Unfortunately, they accidentally hear Ivor declaring his love for the younger Natasha, his former lover, who appears to respond. This particularly affects Adam, who, although ten years her junior, is Natasha's current love.
The rest of the play sees Turai, Natasha, and Ivor (who is married and terrified of his wife finding out), assisted by the cabin steward and jack-of-all-trades Dvornichek, attempting to convince the suicidal Adam that what he heard was in fact a rehearsal for a new ending written by Ivor. It is actually Turai, staying up all night, who has written this ending, integrating Ivor's and Natasha's words from the previous evening. He does not, however, inform Gal that he has done this, and the second act takes place at a rehearsal for the play, in which the new ending is presented, although it is interrupted by a bad storm and a lifeboat drill which everyone, Dvornichek included, takes to be a real shipwreck. During this, Adam throws himself overboard and is rescued by Dvornichek.
Eventually, Adam is convinced that the whole thing was a rehearsal, reconciled with Natasha, who proposes to him, and cured of his speech impediment. The old play, which Turai realises is awful, is abandoned and replaced with a new play inspired by a script written by the (unseen) ship's captain and summarised by Dvornichek. Natasha and Adam are to star, Ivor is relegated to a silent supporting role, and the multi-talented Dvornichek takes over at the piano.
Unpaginated, includes the usual advertisements along with short biographical profiles of the actors, the composer Andre Previn and the writers Tom Stoppard and Ference Molnar
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