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London Wall

Finborough Theatre

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#1 mallardo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

I'm getting a bit bored with heaping praise upon Finborough theatre productions but what can one do - they turn out gem after gem.  London Wall, an early comedy of sorts from John Van Druten ( I Am A Camera) is yet another small triumph.

It premiered in 1931, the same year, coincidentally, as The Captain of Kopenick, but, on this evidence, Mr. Van Druten's smart and funny and deeply involving little piece far outshines the German work being given such a bombastic outing at the NT.  It's a slice of life office comedy set in a London Wall law firm over a period of three weeks.  Its main focus is not on the lawyers but on the typists and secretaries and their collective plight - low wages, constant fear of losing their job - in a man's world.  The way ahead for them all is to latch onto a husband and this is the big issue of the play.  There are four girls, all in different social situations, including a young 19 year old office ingenue who is subjected to a campaign of seduction by the in-house lothario.  If it were set now it could be a Reality TV show.  But it's so much better and wiser and more profoundly human than that.

The nine person cast is uniformly excellent but a special shout out to Maia Alexander as the ingenue and to Alix Dunmore as her veteran older (35) colleague who tries to watch out for her.  The set and costumes, as always at the Finborough, are minor miracles.  The sense of period is pitch perfect in every detail.

It's got two weeks left to run and, given its size, tickets at the Finborough are usually hard to come by.  But this one is worth the effort.
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#2 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

Transfers to the St James for a month run, between The Thrill of Love and Rutherford and Son. Am tempted to catch it there, though I can't see it selling with top price at £42.50(!). Front row is £15, and judging by Mallardo's praise, I'm tempted to pay that.



#3 fringefan

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

I'd go if I hadn't already seen it at the Finborough.  Great that it's getting a transfer, though how the production will fare in a much larger venue I'm not sure.  What is certain is that even by the Finborough's very high standards, this is outstanding.

#4 armadillo

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:42 PM

There are offers around already and I'm sure there will be more - http://uk-offers.tim...als/london-wall . I really liked it - as Mallardo says, it's got a great set and performances and the situations the various workers get themselves into still happen today. It's a shame the Finborough have taken a break from revivals because they have a brilliant track record

#5 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

Saw this this afternoon, as part of one of the smallest audiences I've sat with in a theatre- max 1/6 full. Such a shame, as it's a really lovely play, terrifically acted. Maia Alexander is especially good- beautiful reserved performance. I know the theatre cliche of the moment is 'discovered classic', as whilst I wouldn't go as far as call this a classic, it's a real discovery.

And I'm so grateful that this transferred (loss making, I presume, given how few tickets they seem to be selling), since I missed it at the Finborough and I doubt it'll be performed again for a long time.

It must be so disappointing for the cast to play to such small houses, when they know - and the reviews say - they're in something that's v good. So, little plea from me- if you can spare the time, and £15 (the view from the front row is perfect), go see it.



#6 Beth

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:27 PM

Too late in the day to encourage anyone else to go, so just thanks for the recommendations above - I loved this.  Wonderful performances, both moving and funny.  I saw the last performance, and I'm glad to say the house looked pretty full.  One of my favourite productions of the year, and St James Theatre get bonus points for selling the play text for a fiver.





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