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The Judas Kiss

Hampstead David Hare Rupert & Freddie

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#31 Honoured Guest

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

This production was very widely reviewed a few miles north only a few months ago and the notion that all the same critics should troop along to see it again is one of the absurdities of London theatre reviewing.

#32 Front Row Dress

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:29 AM

Don't know if they let critics in early, but "official" press night was Tuesday, hence the reviews appearing yesterday.
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#33 exuberantlyblue

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

I liked it rather than loved it. I'm not sure why; it may have just been my mood. I think part of it may have been that the play felt entirely predictable and burnished to a fine sheen - I don't need surprises around every corner, and an aura of high tragic inevitability was quite possibly what they were going for anyway, but it ended up coming across a bit flat for me.

Superb performances, though. If the play itself wasn't magical for me, the actors often were.Everett of course is phenomenal, but for me Cal MacAninch's quiet Robert Ross stole the show (a feat considering other actors on stage had certain show-stealing opportunities that Cal didn't). Freddie Fox was also quite good, which made me glad as I liked him in Hay Fever. And Tom Colley's, um, attributes may get the lion's share of the attention, but beyond that his easy friendliness was an effective foil to Bosie and Wilde in the second act.

Interesting audience as well - the intrigued feminine murmurs/sighs that swept the room whenever one of the three young men took their kit off threatened to have me in giggles. Particularly when Colley came back on stage dripping wet; the mass intake of breath and involuntary appreciative noises were hilarious.  Plus my interval was jazzed up by the funniest, meanest pair of middle-aged ladies behind me: in fifteen minutes or so they dismissed Everett as "so ugly!" (who did they want to play Wilde, Brad Pitt?), his clothes as "shabby" ("I expected Wilde to be dressed so beautifully, but he's all crumpled and dirty"), the nudity thus far displayed as "not much" (said in the most disapproving tone!), and the young man who'd thus far bared all as "in good shape, I suppose, but hardly good-looking" (harsh!)

Theatre ladies aside, while I didn't love the play itself, I had an enjoyable evening and the acting was first-rate. The lighting and set were also great, with one exception - the fact that the drapings on the beds were SO HUGE, with those enormous canopies taking up like half the stage, was a bit strange to me. No doubt it was thematic. But the little sofa bed in particular having such an enormous canopy triggered my funny bone. The rest of the staging, though, and the lighting in particular, was lovely. Particular shout-out to the end of Act One with the lighting and the passage of time.

Oh, and sitting close to the stage is a good choice, if you can. You feel like you're right there in the room. The only drawbacks are when Bosie's running around in a sheet and then a towel and you're trying to avoid looking up said sheet/towel from your vantage point directly below. ;)

#34 Nicholas

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:50 AM

View Postexuberantlyblue, on 23 March 2013 - 12:29 AM, said:

And Tom Colley's, um, attributes may get the lion's share of the attention, but beyond that his easy friendliness was an effective foil to Bosie and Wilde in the second act.

That character was actually quite interesting, but the nudity got most of the attention - as you say, he's got to be a foil to those two despite his lines being (at least for me) un-understandable.  It's a shame that people think there was no more to his part than just his part, as his role had more meat to it than just his meat.  I couldn't help but wonder quite what he had to do when he auditioned for it, though.

#35 exuberantlyblue

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:33 AM

View PostNicholas, on 23 March 2013 - 12:50 AM, said:

It's a shame that people think there was no more to his part than just his part, as his role had more meat to it than just his meat.

I like you.

And I agree about Colley's character. I'd love to know what he was actually saying, but kudos to him for carrying off his part with aplomb despite having a) no clothing and b ) no English dialogue. Impressive stuff.

#36 mallardo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:57 PM

Your review was impressive stuff, EB, wonderfully entertaining.  You've actually made me want to see the show now - now that it's too late.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#37 exuberantlyblue

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

View Postmallardo, on 23 March 2013 - 02:57 PM, said:

Your review was impressive stuff, EB, wonderfully entertaining.  You've actually made me want to see the show now - now that it's too late.

Aw, cheers! <3 I think the play's still open until 6 April, although it might be a bit late to fit it into your schedule at this point.

Just looking over my programme now, I see that there was once a production of the play starring Liam Neeson (Wilde), Tom Hollander (Bosie), and Peter Capaldi (Ross). I simply can't imagine that! Probably it's just having seen it last night, but I can't envision anyone playing Wilde except Everett.

#38 mallardo

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

Given the actors you mention, I wonder if that production was as graphic as this one seems to be.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#39 exuberantlyblue

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:18 PM

Hah! Well, of the three, Hollander's role would have been the only one with nudity (if the production followed similar lines). Wilde and Ross stay buttoned-up throughout.

Now you have me wondering though!

#40 Polly1

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:07 PM

Definitely! I seem to remember that Hollander (+ another actor whose name escapes me) spent most of the second half completely naked. Also the opening was VERY graphic, I remember my friend and I being worried as we were in the 3rd row ;) Neeson was actually very good, as was Hollander, it's puzzled me a bit that people are talking about this being an 'undiscovered' classic as I thought it was quite well received last time out.





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