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Sometimes the best refuge from real trauma is simulated terror

‘The Lovesong of Alfred J. Hitchcock’ plays on Broadway, with Past Master Patrick McHugh's son as the young Hitchcock

The English playwright David Rudkin remembers cowering under his bunk in an air-raid shelter as a child. It was the early 1940s, and German bombs were raining on his hometown, Birmingham. What dreams may come to a child who fears for his life? Menacing images from Alfred Hitchcock thrillers like “Rebecca,” “Suspicion” and “Foreign Correspondent,” naturally.

“As I lay on the floor in fright,” Mr. Rudkin, 77, said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Worcestershire, “I would go through those films in my head, those scenes. I was retreating from real existential danger into this separate, imaginary world of anxiety.”

It was a world to which he had only been exposed piecemeal, he explained, since his mother was in the practice of sneaking off with him to movie houses far from their home, where his father, an evangelical pastor, had strictly forbidden exposure to the “Babylon” of motion pictures. Even as Hitchcock’s films gave his boyhood self the paradoxical thrill of being scared, the anxiety they provoked made him feel “as though I was being punished in the cinema for being there,” Mr. Rudkin recalled. “I think Hitchcock would very much have appreciated that feeling.”

This acute sense of guilty pleasure, imprinted in childhood and channeled into art, provides the inspiration for Mr. Rudkin’s “The Lovesong of Alfred J. Hitchcock,” which runs on Broadway from May 4th to 25th as part of the Brits Off Broadway series at 59E59 Theaters. Less a straightforward biographical drama than a ruminative psychological study, “Lovesong” sifts through Hitchcock’s youth and early career for clues to the visual motifs and thematic obsessions — inaccessible blondes with names that start with the letter “M,” for instance — that would recur in his work....

See the full preview from the New York Times of the Broadway production  - and a link to a copy of the review of the play in the Guardian

The play runs from 2 to 28 May 2014 on Broadway

NOTE - The Boss of it all - is a must for all Management Consultants.....!

For those not going to New York,  Tom McHugh will be appearing in London in The Boss of it all which as you can read from the Soho Theatre review below, is a must  for all management consultants.

"One of the most talked about shows from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 arrives at Soho Theatre from 2nd to 27th July!  Adapted from mad genius Lars Von Trier’s hilarious ‘office-style’ film, comes a clever and ‘severely stylish’ play about an out of work actor hired to pretend to be the boss of a failing company.

Kristoffer, a pompous, jaded and out of work actor, has been asked to stand in as the head of an IT firm to take the rap for “the management’s” unpopular decisions. Taking his role very seriously indeed, he soon gets more than he bargained for, finding himself the target of a staff team of misfits and obsessives. Yet as he grows increasingly fond of the staff, Kristoffer is faced with a problem: will he fulfil his role and sell the company or will they prick his conscious into saving them?

This brilliant, edgy comedy blows apart the notion of what it means to be a leader in the world today.      Soho Theatre review






Past Master, Patrick McHugh