Ethics Come under the Glare of the Spotlight; NIGHT OUT IN LONDON 3 by Harold Pinter, Donmar Warehouse. Major Barbara , Piccadilly

Article excerpt

"Gosh, that was a long play!" said my brother. "But I didn't realise it until I looked at the clock in the car just now." Certainly it didn't feel like the best part of three hours to me. Peter Hall's new production of Major Barbara had me leaning forwar d in my seat.

Jemma Redgrave stars as the blue-blooded do-gooder who finds fulfilment handing out faith, hope and bread in the East End, with Peter Bowles as her father, an arms manufacturing philanthropist and David Yelland as the impoverished professor of Ancient Gr eek who wants to marry her.

Each lives according to a set of ethics which they uphold in passionate debate as the action moves from Knightsbridge drawing room to West Ham slum mission and model armaments factory village. Is dirty money better than no money when the starving rely on you to keep their souls and bodies intact? Can we really afford the New Labour line on ethical arms sales? Are the virtues expensive luxuries? Does every man have his price?

3 By Pinter is well over three hours including intervals and that was too much for me. Luckily, you don't have to sit through the lot. You have the option to see just A Kind of Alaska or a double bill of The Collection/The Lover. …