Man and Boy at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans

A TALE of a great man’s fall from grace is the Company of Ten’s tribute to a playwright who fell from grace after the runaway success of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger.

The St Albans drama group is putting on Terence Rattigan’s Man and Boy from tomorrow (Friday) until next Saturday, November 19.

Few playwrights in the 20th Century were as cruelly repudiated by critics as Rattigan after the first performances of Osborne’s seminal play.

Just before his death in 1977, he railed: “There I was in 1956, a reasonably successful playwright with Separate Tables just opened and suddenly the whole Royal Court thing exploded and Coward and Priestley and I were all dismissed, sacked by the critics.”

The same year he had thrown a party to celebrate the filming of his 1953 play The Sleeping Prince, re-dubbed The Prince and the Showgirl. His stellar guests were co-stars Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier and Monroe’s new husband, Arthur Miller.

But in no time, his glittering career was over: the critics had thrown the kitchen sink at him.

To mark Rattigan’s centenary, there have been many successful revivals of his work in the West End. Tickets for the Company of Ten tribute can be obtained from the box office on 01727 857861 or online at