The Old Masters (2004)

Synopsis The Production Photographs Reviews


On a summer’s day in 1937 in the gardens of his Florentine villa, Bernard Berenson, the renowned art critic and collector, is casually discussing art and world affairs with his wife Mary and his mistress Nicky. Unbeknownst to Berenson, at a nearby hotel, multi-millionaire Joseph Duveen is preparing to bring him a priceless painting to examine – though Duveen knows this may shatter their 30-year, and highly secret, business arrangement.

Text from What’s On stage

The Production

Old Masters Programme

The Old Masters premiered at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 4th June 2004. It had a short season, 4 – 19 June, before transferring to the Comedy Theatre, London, on 1 July 2004 (previews from 26 June). Its initial run until 28 August was later extended until 13 November, then again until 18 December, 2004.

The Old Masters is a play in two acts. Sessions were approximately 2 hours and 35-40 minutes, with one interval. Tickets were £10 – £21.75 in Birmingham and £15 – £37.50 in London. In London, the shwo ran Monday to Saturday at 19:45 with matinees on Saturday and Thursday at 14:30

Cast and Creatives:

Edward Fox Bernard Berenson
Peter Bowles Joseph Duveen
Barbara Jefford Mary
Sally Dexter Niky
Steven Pacey Fowles
Writer Simon Gray
(see this website for the history of the play)
Director Harold Pinter
Set Designer Eileen Diss
Lighting Design Mick Hughes
Sound Design John Leaonard
Costume Design Dany Everett


Space dictates that we have only included photos featuring Steven Pacey. Only one tiny photograph is available, from Harold Pinter’s Website.


Steven Pacey and Edward Fox
Photographer: Hugo Glendinning


“There’s excellent support, too, from … Steven Pacey as Duveen’s emissary.

Mark Shenton, What’s On Stage

“Steven Pacey has a pivotal role in Act 1 as the messenger”
“All in all an impressive play, beautifully directed and immaculately acted.”

Clive Fuller, BBC Birmingham
June 13, 2004
Sunday Mercury Bob Hayward not rated
16 June, 2004
The Stage Pat Ashworth not rated
June 2004
BBC Birmingham Andy Knowles not rated
June 2004
BBC Birmingham Clive Fuller not rated
2 July, 2004
The Telegraph Charles Spencer not rated
2 July, 2004
Daily Mail Quentin Letts not rated
2 July, 2004
What’s On Stage Mark Shenton *
3 July, 2004
London Theatre Archive Alan Bird not rated
12 July, 2004
Variety Matt Wolf not rated
TheatreguideLondon Gerald Berkowitz not rated
British Theatre Guide Philip Fisher not rated

Other reviews published at the time (eg The Guardian and The Times) are no longer available online.

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Please note: The term The Old Masters as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other tradermarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of Simon Gray, Greg Ripley-Duggan with Duveen Productions and Ted Tulchin in a Birmingham Repertory Theatre Production, and the Comedy Theatre and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the owners and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.

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