#TheChapMag The Chap Influences West End Stage

The Chap Influences West End Stage

Published on January 18th, 2013

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.

18 Responses to “The Chap Influences West End Stage”

  1. Derek Dubery says:

    Good work. Now stop him making any more of that Mr Bean tripe!

  2. Patricia Jones says:

    Sartorially, you are of course, correct but you have failed to understand Simon Gray’s character and Eyre’s direction of the hapless Quartermaine. Sorry Old Bean

  3. Sandyman P. Ort says:

    Bean tripe, Mr. Dubery?

    Is that something new for vegetarians? Not for me, thanks all the same… I’ll pass and go straight to the desert. Spotted Dick again, I see! Mmmm!

  4. Albion says:

    Brown brogues you say, as a replacement? Chestnut would match that particular suit more elegantly. Still, we can’t have everything, so I’m told.

  5. Another glorious victory for the revolution. Every concession cements our glorious position. Good show!

  6. Benedict P. Shepherd says:

    one small step for Mr ATKINSON (with a pair of brown brogues), one giant leap for Chapism!

  7. I say, Sandyman P. Ort,
    Is that a dessert in the desert or what?

  8. Melville Hastings Esq. says:

    Well done indeed Chap.
    However, may I enquire as to what a ‘Loake’ is?
    Messers John Lobb or Trickers on Jermyn St. would have been suitable stockists one would have thought?

  9. Petronius Arbiter says:

    I’m dismayed to find you supporting the petty-bourgeois prohibition of brown in town. It was a rule devised by dull counter-jumpers. A gentleman needs no rules

  10. BRSmith says:

    One can only judge by the photograph of the tweed suit, which with its apparent pale beige or vomit colour could happily exist with black shoes. Indeed brown would, to my mind, not look quite right at all. These things really are a matter of judgement, and probably of messrs Adobe (foreign, surely?) and their Photo Shop.

  11. principe says:

    History has taught us that no less a dandy that the Late HRH the Duke of Windsor wore brown shoes with a blue suit in town in the 1930′s……

  12. Dr Robert Bruce-Chwatt says:

    “Up to town? Never in brown.” Must note that Cambridge is a City. PS Seems from The Times that these foreign chappies have managed to flog a dead horse…

  13. Muskar says:

    Quand bien meme serait-il a Londres, mieux vaut enfreindre la regle “no brown in town” que porter des chaussures noires avec un costume en tweed.

  14. Cyril Strideforth-Knickerbocker says:



  15. Jean-François Pinçon says:

    By jove, Good job!

  16. Ralf Denereaux says:

    Super work. Warmed my heart to such an extent I felt the need to imbibe copious amounts of gin.

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