Newly listed on eBay, the program for the National Theatre’s production of No Man’s Land at the Lyttelton Theatre which ran from January 20 – February 24, 1977 with Michael Kitchen in the cast.
As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
– Richard II
Perhaps the case for some supporting actors but not for Michael Kitchen, who would have beguiled even if both Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Gielgud had left the stage.
Michael Kitchen played the character of Foster in another Harold Pinter work, No Man’s Land. The stage production premiered in London in 1975 before Michael Kitchen replaced Michael Feast in limited engagements in Toronto (Sep. 13, 1976 – Oct. 9, 1976), Washington D.C. (Oct. 11 – Nov. 6, 1976), and on Broadway (Nov. 8 – Dec. 18, 1976). The cast then returned to London for a final five-week run in early 1977. Fortunately, prior to the show closing it was filmed for posterity and later broadcast by the BBC in 1978. This clip from almost the end of the play is the best part, in my lowbrow opinion.
The play was pretty inscrutable to me. But that may be because I skipped over all the scenes of drunken rambling, i.e. most of the play as far as I could tell.
From a review in the Village Voice (Nov. 22, 1976):
…the new boy, Michael Kitchen, is an inventive and potentially powerful comic actor, with great suppleness of emotional color.
And from the AP in November 1976: