(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/17/13.)
Much patience is demanded from the family of Arthur Winslow, the British patriarch waging a long battle to see that justice is properly served in “The Winslow Boy,” the 1946 play by Terence Rattigan that is being splendidly revived by the Roundabout Theater Company at the American Airlines Theater.
Maybe I should add that a little patience may be required of audiences, too. Rattigan was one of the most successful British playwrights of the middle years of the last century, and wrote firmly in the tradition of the “well-made” play, drama that moves cleverly and deliberately, but with no great haste, through its unruffling paces. During the sometimes languid first act of “The Winslow Boy,” I occasionally found myself wondering whether we really needed to hear so much about a character’s crack cricketing (Rattigan was an avid fan), or, indeed, whether the kernel of the plot — the question of whether a 13-year-old boy stole a “postal order” (whatever that is!) of “five shillings” (whatever that is!) — was really substantial enough to merit such expansive dramatization.