Branagh Slips Into Olivier’s Shoes

entertainer-new-lead-xlarge_trans++124B_CJKVevDawswyx3NzpmzGUWPeHqBjp4IO2cdkAEIt’s one of the most iconic roles in post-war theatre: Archie Rice, the clapped-out music-hall act who stands at the demoralised heart of John Osborne’s “The Entertainer“: the bankrupt exponent of a dying art-form in a country reeling from the Suez Crisis. Laurence Olivier created the part. Now, almost 60 years on, it’s the turn of Kenneth Branagh, the 55-year-old actor/director who’s been compared throughout his career to Lord Larry. Michael Billington says ‘Branagh is highly watchable as the music-hall veteran Archie Rice, but John Osborne’s portrait of a collapsing culture is undercut in a misjudged production.’

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