Michael Billington: 1971, Christopher Hampton, who'd an earlier success, but he wrote a play called The Philanthropist which was was hugely popular. It was done for the Royal Court, filled the Royal Court; the Royal Court was going through one of it's puritanical phases and was rather horrified by this popularity and didn't approve of the play. It then moved to a commercial theatre, The Mayfair and ran for two years or so and then went to Broadway. And it is about what it's title implies; it is about a man who actually sees every point of view and is philanthropic and generous and kindly in his instincts. And it's about the awful life he finds; how he copes with it, how you cope with being not sort of partisan or polemical in life, but being a nice, liberal, middle-of-the-roader. Wonderfully funny play.
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