About the play
The action of the play takes place in an apartment in the Italian quarter of New York. Time: the present
From the programme:
‘Climb The Greased Pole’ was first produced at The Mermaid Theatre in November 1967 and the leading roles were played by Bernard Miles and Libby Morris.
The production of this play followed the run of successes the Mermaid had achieved with the plays of Bill Naughton, and, despite the vastly different location, ‘Climb The Greased Pole‘ does have similar themes to (say) ‘All In Good Time’ and ‘Spring And Port Wine‘. A family group is dominated by a tyrannical father who is brought to reason by the events portrayed in the play. There can be no suggestions that Naughton was an influence on Vincent Longhi (especially as Longhi’s play is loosely based on his own family life) but it is interesting to see why the play should appeal to Bernard Miles and the Mermaid Company. The play had an excellent run in London but did not catch on with provincial repertory companies and this production is possibly the first by an amateur company in Great Britain.
Ibsen fans in tonight’s audience may like to wonder whether the climbing of the pole at the end of the play is a comic imitation of Master Builder Solness climbing his tower!