'The Winslow Boy'
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By the end of the play, lawyer Sir Robert Morton, a famous jurist, weeps at the verdict. Alessandro Nivola plays the lawyer and the audience reacts to him the way Catherine (Charlotte Parry) does. He’s supercilious and haughty, and undoubtedly has taken this minor case to get publicity, possibly winning a judgeship. Yet as Cate softens toward him, so does the audience. In great part the change is attributed to Nivola’s skill in thawing out an icy character. Rees is superb as the father with his rigidity, feared by his sons, yet willing to risk everything for their welfare. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Mrs. Winslow brings nice balance to her determined husband. Henny Russell is charming as the dotty maid who never filters her comments, and the always wonderful Michael Cumpsty plays the steadfast family lawyer.
The show starts slowly and is very talky; it requires intense concentration. Those with hearing problems or with tickets in the mezzanine should use the theater hearing devices. In addition to the British accents, some may also have a problem understanding the concept of British law- traditionally expressed by the Attorney General answering a petition of right with the formula answer “Let right be done.”
Is it a matter of justice or a matter of right? This show requires undivided attention from its audience, but the reward is well worth it.