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Member Since 10 Feb 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:51 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Birdland - Simon Stephens - Andrew Scott

10 April 2014 - 03:18 PM

Have to say I loved it too and am quite surprised the reviews haven't been better.

You have a point there about previews Poly. It's all a mystery which makes it more exciting. I'll be interested to see what I think of this after a return trip in a couple of weeks.

In Topic: Trafalgar To Be Transformed Again

10 April 2014 - 03:13 PM

What are the rumours? I'm out if the loop!

In Topic: A Small Family Business

10 April 2014 - 12:05 AM

 steveatplays, on 09 April 2014 - 05:35 PM, said:

OK perfectly passable filler, like spending an uneventful afternoon watching the only good episode of Murder She Wrote.

This is a bit like a prequel to "Barking In Essex," where we discover the origin story of a corrupt suburban gangster family. Or to be more precise, "Barking in Essex" could easily be retitled "A Small Family Business Part 4: Barking in Essex - The family disintegrates and so does the English Language."

But if the story of a reluctant gangster kingpin is going to be funny, then he really has to be a bit more reluctant than Nigel Lindsay's Jack McCracken. Lindsay shouts and postures, but I never felt in him the deep disgust or outraged inner fury that would make the gradual corruption of his character simultaneously hilarious and tragic. The character needs to become unhinged, like Basil Fawlty, desperately trying to keep his cool, but possessed by indignant fury.

I am jealous of anyone who saw Michael Gambon in the original run of this, as Gambon's lugubrious face is the very definition of reluctance, and just the thought of that face contorting further with anger, disgust and frustration, makes me laugh.

In a tragicomic farce like this, laughs are generated when the indignant (normal) central character is confronted by the hidden craziness of the other characters. This is where this production works best, as there are 4 standout bonkers performances: there is  Matthew Cottle's Uriah Heap of a private investigator who is so sleazy he leaks 8 pints of drool over the course of the play; there is Neal Barry's brother-in-law who is positively possessed by food perversion; there is Niky Wardley's sister-in-law who wears cuckoldry and criminality without any hint of shame; and there is Jack's own wife, Debra Gillett who becomes increasingly aberrant degree by imperceptible degree.

While it is dated to be shocked by greed-is-good culture, and while this misses as much as it hits the funnybone, there is enough here to make for a reasonably entertaining evening. 3 stars.

Nb: Thanks to Ian and Vickster for your sightline warnings. Instead of taking my seat in Row A, I waited till the door shut and took an empty seat in Row F instead. It seems, like for Urinetown, the best sightline for both upper and lower stages is Row G. :)

Happy to help. I was C9 I think (so 2nd row of the three seats on their own on right side of stage) and too close to the front means the action upstairs is cut off (especially in the bathroom) and if you are where I was the breakfast bar blocks the action in the hallway. It's a good job I was too bored to care about missing out.

In Topic: Royal Shakespeare Company London Productions

10 April 2014 - 12:00 AM

Yes they do and I'm in fact there this Saturday to see both Henry IVs! Very much looking forward to getting back to SuA!

In Topic: Birdland - Simon Stephens - Andrew Scott

09 April 2014 - 11:54 PM

View PostMrs Lovett, on 09 April 2014 - 11:18 PM, said:

Contradictory bad review from the 'graph


You have got to be kidding me?! Ridiculous.