Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Actors do justice to letters

Jeremy Child and Robert Portal with Charlie Mortimer, Kenton Theatre

WHAT a pleasure to hear two accomplished actors bringing to life the hilarious letters from Roger Mortimer to his son Charlie that have been gathered in Dear Lupin, together with explanatory commentary from Charlie, nicknamed “Lupin” by his dad.

Taken as a group, these letters explore the father-son relationship, over the years, in a way the audience could obviously relate to, judging by the laughter.

Parent Roger Mortimer voices exasperation at the misdemeanours of his errant son. But any tetchiness is softened by masses of good humour and unmistakable love as he advises his son on how to build a future and stay out of trouble.

That genuine affection comes through strongly in the slide show of family photos. The letters trace Lupin’s hapless career through Eton, the army and a series of questionable jobs.

As well as insights into Mortimer family life, the letters offer anecdotes, delivered with irreverent humour, about the extraordinary escapades of friends and neighbours — who has had a car crash, who’s run off with whom, who has died, and so on.

As the years pass, Roger Mortimer’s letters start to dwell on the tribulations of growing older. The readings finished with an appearance from the real Lupin, Charlie Mortimer himself, who spoke with candour about his adolescence and the challenges and successes of his adult life.

Susan Creed

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