Click here!

Ruling Class, The

Ruling Class, The

The aristocracy: backbone of Britain, pillar of Church and State, the living embodiment of tradition. And purveyors of certain eccentricities. Some stranger than others. Read more …

When the 13th Earl of Gurney dies in somewhat embarrassing circumstances, the title is inherited by his son, Jack – to the horror of the rest of the family. Why?  Well, Jack’s particular eccentricity is a little more extreme than most: he’s a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks he’s the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Returning home from a clinic to assume the title - and to preach an alarmingly subversive brand of peace, love and understanding - Jack is spectacularly unsuited to life in elite society. Appalled, the scheming Gurneys close ranks and deliver an ultimatum to Jack’s psychiatrist, Dr. Herder:  Jack must either be cured completely of his delusion – or quietly declared insane and committed to an asylum.

But Herder’s attempts to shock Jack into normality are far from orthodox...and whilst the treatment may appear outwardly successful, deep within Jack’s psyche, something dark and deadly is released.

The critical consensus

It's a telling illustration of how the rotten core of an unhinged and seemingly untouchable establishment get away with murder at every level.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 27/07/2017

John Durnin’s brave and powerful production of this astonishing mid-20th century satirical spectacle, full of what he rightly calls “wild theatricality, heightened language, low comedy and a love of excess and extremity”.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 01/08/2017

While the play’s mingling of farce with horror can be unsettling at times, Barnes’s pile-driving approach to his satirical targets is more likely to provoke a collective shrug of the shoulders from contemporary audiences than a ripping out of the seats in the auditorium.

***(*)(*)Allan Radcliffe, 31/07/2017

Features about Ruling Class, The

John Durnin--Peter Barnes and The Ruling Class.

Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 04/07/2017

Where and when?

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Pitlochry from Thursday July 20, 2017, until Saturday October 14, 2017. More info:

Comments: 0 (Add)

To post a comment, you need to sign in or register. Forgotten password? Click here.

Find a show

Search the site

Find us on …

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YouTube