Archive Interview | WILLIAM GAUNT | The Family Reunion @ Donmar Warehouse

Good old Sam- my one time super Geography pupil from Alleyns and excellent fellow!!

Rogues & Vagabonds

William Gaunt

It is certainly refreshing to meet an actor who recognizes the potential pitfalls of producing a play which, as Eliot himself famously and publicly admitted, was one of his theatrical failures. What seems all the more intriguing is the fact thatThe Family Reunionappears to express views as apposite today as when first staged in those dangerous times just months before the Second World War.

“It ran only a few weeks” when originally staged, not least because it was “ahead of its time” and because, as Gaunt explains, “audiences in ’39 were far too used to the realism of dramas by Somerset Maugham or eager for light comedies” to appreciate a play steeped in Christian imagery and employing verse in a classically-inspired way.

“It is stylised to a certain extent,” he adds, “with its use of a Greek Chorus and the presence of Furies which haunt the…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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