March 4, 2012


Alex Kirschner, Andrew Nolan and Soren Santos. Photo: Lois Tema


DIRECTOR GEORGE MAGUIRE has put together an awe-inspiring and brilliant new adaptation of E.M Forster’s Maurice. This is why we go to see live Theatre.

The well-known story is about a young man who has little interest in women or their anatomy. He is on the road of self-discovery during his teen years at Cambridge. That is where he fell into the spell of man to man love. At first it was a magical time for him. But the other young man was struggling with his sexuality. Remember, this was a time when homosexuals were highly persecuted in England. 

This story is rich in fabulous dialogue. The stiff upper class in that time were very stuffy. Maurice (pronounced Morris), is dropped by his college friend who tries to throw away any suspicions about his romance with Maurice by marrying a woman. But, he can’t get Maurice out of his mind. Basically, he is closet Queen.

After being dumped by Clive Durham, Maurice falls in love with Durham's house servant 'Scudder'.  The lower class hunky guy wins over Maurice’s heart. Scudder is very cagey. He see's that there was some hanky panky between Maurice and Durham.  However, there was a little problem when Maurice begins to think that he should not be seen with a lower class (Scudder) worker. But Maurice is drawn to the very sexy and attractive man. You too, will feel the magnetism. And if you are interested -- Scudder shows a little nudity. There are some moments though, when Scudder makes some threatening statements. Money does come into question.

It’s a lovely story that is extraordinarily brilliant. Everything works in this play from the gorgeous music to the Grand acting. This is the play to see this season. Only the stoniest hearts will not like it.

The production is positively poetic. It illuminates. and shows how far we have come. Here are the flawless performers: Soren Santos as Maurice – John Hurst as Mr. Ducie/Mr.Lasker Jones/Dr. Barry – Alex Kirschner as Clive Durham – Andrew Nolan as Risley/Alec Scudder – Lindsey Murray as Mrs. Hall and Hilary Hyatt as Ada Hall/Anne Woods. The Marvelous sound design is by Josh Senick.

Maurice is by E.M. Forster and is adapted by Andy Graham and Roger Parsley. George Maquire’s direction is “PURE PERFECTION!”


RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked- 

(A note: George Maguire recently directed a fantastic version of "The Talented Mr. Ripley." That play (which was also a movie) got rave reviews at a stage in the East Bay). Ask New Conservatory Theatre to bring the play over here. I guarantee a sell out.) 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED))) 

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