The Chap Influences West End Stage
The Chap attended the opening night of a new production of Simon Gray’s Quartermaine’s Terms. The play is set in a language school in Cambridge in the 1960s, and while overall the costumes reflected the period and social class of the characters accurately, the lead actor, Rowan Atkinson was wearing black shoes with a tweed suit!
Naturally horrified, The Chap sought an audience with the costume supervisor of the play, and pointed out this oversight. It seems that the director had insisted on Mr. Atkinson wearing black shoes, under the illusion that he was in town during the hours that the play is set. He is not in town, he is in Cambridge! Town is of course nowhere else in the world except London. Besides, there are many scenes in the play where St John Quartermaine (Atkinson) is seen during the weekend in his tweed suit, yet still wearing black shoes!
The result of this conversation was that the costume supervisor went to the director and said, “Look here, old stick – The Chap has been in touch, and those shoes have got to be changed, or we risk certain sartorial humiliation for the rest of our West End run.” That very same day, the costume supervisor went out and personally purchased a pair of brown brogues (from Loake, to be precise) for Mr. Atkinson, who will now wear them for the remainder of the play’s run at Wyndham’s Theatre in London.
Mr. Atkinson is pictured here in an earlier publicity still from the play. In the current production, he wears a splendid greenish-brown tweed three-piece suit for the duration of the play, apart from appearing in the denouement in black tie.