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I want you to know that I'm available to you anytime you want
The Graduate - Kathleen Turner - Matthew Rhys - Terry Johnson


that's what the gorgeous Kathleen Turner in The Graduate, at her West End stage debut - naked for a few seconds in front of us - says to Benjamin.The movie: The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, I saw in 1967 and I loved it, with the ultra-cool Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman, and the music of Simon and Garfunkel's unforgettable songs; still my greatest favourites. The hilarious gags in the movie, with Dustin Hoffman's famous diving-suit, the suburban world, are present here as a funny farce/drama.Kathlleen Turner's middle-aged, middle-class alcoholic seductress accounts for the theatre being fully booked up. As soon as the newspapers started to write about her being naked, it was a "sell out"! Like Nicole Kidman in 1998 in Sam Mendes' Blue Room, a critic described as " pure theatrical Viagra". Anyway, The Graduate is based on the novel of Charles Webb 1963. The theatre adaptation and direction by Terry Johnson who also wrote Dead Funny and Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick.

The play is a story of Benjamin, graduated from college and his parents organised a party with their closet friends and the law partner of Benjamin's father, a Mr Robinson, as well as Mrs Robinson, to celebrate his graduation. Ben is depressed and his parents beg him to take off the diving-suit, and come down as everybody is waiting for the graduate. Ben refuses and then the divine Mrs Robinson enter drunk and decide to go for the " toyboy" and have some sex - and that's the best part of the play! "WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO SEDUCE YOU? IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL ME?" "COULD YOU UNZIP MY DRESS." Anne Bancroft merely unrolled her stocking, but Kathleen Turner came out of the bathroom with a towel around her, saying to Ben " I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I'M AVAILABLE TO YOU ANYTIME YOU WANT".Ben never used her first name - "MRS ROBINSON, YOU'RE THE MOST ATTRACTIVE OF ALL MY PARENTS' FRIENDS": and there she is naked for 40 seconds, voluptuous body, and all London lost their mind!!!Kathleen Turner " breathes seduction" - statuesque, feline, sardonic and funny, and she got the house on their feet. The atmosphere was great!! In Act 2 they are in bed, naked doing fellatio, then Ben stops and says that they never talk, after two months in bed, so the love affair finishes ,and he falls in love with her daughter. Mrs Robinson is not amused and gets nasty.

Everybody knows Kathleen Turner for her famous movies. Her first film with William Hurt was Body Heat. This was followed by The man With Two Brains with Steve Martin; Peggy Sue Got Married 1986 (one of her favourites); Prizzi's Honour in 1985 (one of my favourites) with the great Jack Nicholson; and the three films with Michael Douglas - Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, and War of the Roses. The latter reminded me of my own traumatic marriage, so traumatic that I never managed to have another relationship. When I found out that "I had been sleeping with the enemy", I could not forgive myself.!! How could I have had such a huge lack of judgement????Kathleen is very close to Michael Douglas; they spent last Christmas at his house ,and she likes Catherine Zeta Jones. He has been to see her on stage in The Graduate. She did not like doing Switching Channels, because it was supposed to be Michael Caine, but the role was given to Burt Reynolds whom she did not like.

Her's is a very husky voice - could it be the cigarettes which made Jessica Rabbit's voice more sexy, in Who Framed Roger Rabbit??! She likes doing voice-over - so many children loved her in The Simpsons. She has also done radio dramas for the BBC.

Benjamin is played by Matthew Rhys. Of course, there have been comparisons between Matthew and Dustin Hoffman ,and all the cast are waiting for Dustin Hoffman to come and see them, as he is in town. Elaine, the daughter of Mrs Robinson - played by Kelly Reilly - is very sweet. But with the final image of them playing with cereals in bed, it surely means that Benjamin is going very soon get some excitement somewhere else, as he had such a good teacher in bed. Oh yes, when a toyboy has sex with a middle-aged women, they are better prepared for the future with other women.

I went to see Mrs Robinson, hoping I could learn how to seduce a man, and I looked around for a possible date for the night, only to find next to me, a middle-aged Arab breathing with excitement. I arrived at the Gielgud Theatre ,at the same time as the actor Christopher Lee and his wife.

I left the theatre thinking about the man with the huge black eyebrows: I have chosen him to be my next husband!!!On the last occasion when we met I touched his eyebrows. I didn't mean to be rude but they intrigued me. I hoped the chemistry would work, but all I got ,was an e-mail saying "FORGIVE MY FORGETFULNESS BUT I AM UNABLE TO RECALL WHERE WE HAVE MET". Oh my God!!!!! I'VE LOST MY CHEMISTRY AND MY CHARM.

 

Verinha Ottoni.




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