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Arts > No instant recall

28 January 2016 | by Mark Lawson

No instant recall


 
Peter Shaffer has received numerous revivals of his best-known plays: the historical epic The Royal Hunt of the Sun, the psychiatric shocker Equus, and the Mozartian drama Amadeus. But, as a surprise early birthday present in his ninetieth year, the pioneering Print Room theatre offers his first play, Five Finger Exercise, a long-running hit in 1958.Whereas his more familiar works are spoken-operatic pieces with grand settings, rhetoric and gesture, this stage debut was a West End drawing-room drama. The title refers both to the size of the cast – four members of the Harrington family plus Walter, their lodger – and a standard practice in piano music, a passion that Walter, a young German émigré, shares with both his landlady, Louise, and her teenage daughter, Pa




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