The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - THE­ATRE The Girls

Phoenix The­atre

ON THE day I saw this com­edy about can­cer, the death was an­nounced of the jour­nal­ist Steve Hewlett, whose treat­ment for the dis­ease had been closely fol­lowed by Ra­dio 4’s PM pro­gramme. As al­ways with this kind of death, the news was both ex­pected and a shock. Over the se­ries of in­ter­views con­ducted by PM pre­sen­ter Ed­die Mair, Hewlett’s smooth, even voice be­came more grav­elly and frag­ile un­til our and his hope that he might be saved, or at least his death de­layed, by ground-break­ing treat­ment was over­come by the sheer ag­gres­sion of his can­cer.

The in­ter­views made for riv­et­ing lis­ten­ing, de­spite Mair’s ha­bit­u­ally laboured at­tempts at hu­mour.

Mair’s man­nered ir­rev­er­ence usu­ally comes across as a well meant but ill-judged at­tempt at pro­vid­ing a lit­tle light relief from the se­ri­ous busi­ness of news.

But when the pre­sen­ter in­dulged in one-way josh­ing with Hewlett about the lat­ter’s wed­ding plans, a fur­ther weight was added to Mair’s al­ready leaden at­tempts to raise a smile.

As if any­one needed re­mind­ing, it be­came clear just how dif­fi­cult it is to

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