The cast got a standing ovation today, and seemed very happy, thanking the audience. And the cast are the best thing about the play, which seemed dated to me even in 1995, aping as it did Tarantino's 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs, with its cocktail of relentless comic conversation, underpinned by a festering violence, always on the verge of erupting. And there is so much less to identify with here, than in Tarantino's film, where the police informant anchors it with both heart and a ticking time bomb dramatic device. Nobody here is likeable, except perhaps the wasters played by Mays and Grint, and that relatability almost certainly comes from the actors, rather than the script. Mays and Grint both have comic timing, the former even more so than the latter, though both are good. Butterworth's wonderful facility with dialogue at least makes up to some degree for the thin plotting, a facility that really came into it's own with Jerusalem, in a play that says so much, where this one says so little. What ultimately makes this production so worthwhile is Whishaw, cast against type as a violent psychopath, who reacts to anti-Semitic racist taunts, and embodies his abusive childhood to such a powerful degree, that his character ends up being the beating heart of the whole play, the only villain of the piece whose tortured soul motivates his every action. It is a wonderful performance, and if he was out-acted by a whisker by Judi Dench in the recent Grandage, here he is the reason to book a ticket. 4 stars.
Anyway, I'm done defending the French spectacles now
Oh don't give up so easily!
I loved Notre Dame de Paris and what a discovery was Quasimodo sung by the French-Canadian singer Garou? Amazing voice. The songs are really hummable - Belle was voted the best song of all time in France.