Steven plays Edward Fowles, an art dealer and business man, in the world premiere of 'The Old Masters' by Simon Gray and directed by Harold Pinter, at the Birmingham Rep 04/19 June. Box Office 0121 236 4455. After Birmingham the show will go to the West End, opening in June at the Comedy Theater.
1937, a perfect summer's day. In the magnificent gardens of his opulent Villa overlooking Florence, Bernard Berenson, the renowned Art critic, connoisseur, writer, and collector, is taking his ease discussing art and world affairs with his wife, Mary, and with Nicky, his mistress. Meanwhile, unknown to Berenson, in a hotel in Florence, multimillionaire Joseph Duveen, the world´s most pre- eminent art dealer, is preparing to visit him late that night. He has with him a priceless Renaissance painting for Berenson to examine - though he knows that this may shatter their 30 year-old - and highly secret - business arrangement.
Midnight in a library in Mussolini´s Italy. Two Jewish intellectuals with the storm gathering around them. Men who virtually invented the international art market - And an enigmatic masterpiece at the heart of the matter: how much does the true value of a work of art depend on its attribution? What happens when that attribution is open to doubt? Simon Gray´s new play lays open the fascinating world of the market in fine art, exploring issues of true value, of provenance, and of forgery and fraud artistic and personal, via the real life relationship between Duveen and Berenson.
The Old Masters is the ninth play in Simon Gray and Harold Pinter´s long-standing writer/director relationship. Previous collaborations include Butley, The Late Middle-Classes, Quartermaine´s Terms and Life Support.
The Old Masters
4th June 2004 to 19th June 2004 ticket price range for the show: 10 - 21.75 pounds
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Telephone 0121 236 4455
Previews from 26th June 2004; opens 1st July 2004. Mon-Sat 19:45. Sat, Thu Mats 14:30
Telephone 0870 060 6622
Train: Piccadilly Circus (LT)
Play: The play looks at the world of the market in Fine Art - exploring issues of true value, of provenance, and of forgery and fraud, artistic and personal - via the real life relationship between Joseph Duveen, the world's pre-eminent Art dealer and Bernard Berenson, renowned Art critic.