Rattigan Revived: The Winslow Boy Back on Broadway

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More than a century after the incident that inspired it, Terence Rattigan’s play The Winslow Boy, is back on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre in a production from Roundabout Theatre Company.

In 1908, a cadet at England’s Royal Naval Academy was accused of stealing a postal order and kicked out of the school. The potential damage to the young man’s character, and that of his family, was so great that the family mounted a lawsuit to prove the cadet’s innocence. British playwright Rattigan turned that fight for honor into a successful play in 1946.

The Winslow Boy has been revived on stage several times since, both in the U.K. and the U.S., and has been made into a movie several times, too, most recently in 1999. While Rattigan’s works have long been popular in England, his American success has been more limited. But New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood says this production, directed by Lindsay Posner and starring Michael Cumpsty, Roger Rees and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, may push Rattigan’s reputation up a notch or two on this side of the Atlantic.