[...] The year starts with as varied a
selection of work as you’re ever likely to encounter. An exotic
spectacle in a tent (Afrika! Afrika!
a couple of misconceived former-Soviet biographical pieces (The President’s Holiday
Hampstead, which has elicited raised eyebrows by receiving an increase
in ACE funding, and The British
, in which Nadia Murray’s lack of stage
experience has not prevented the show’s transfer by the time you read
this into the Arts Theatre in the West End), and the apparent vanity
project An Audience With The Mafia
of which Andrew Haydon asked me whether it would be advisable for his
first published Financial Times
review to carry a rating of no stars at all. At the National,
Lucinda Coxon’s Happy Now?
has received warm reviews, but I’m afraid a combination of the
uncomfortable domestic events onstage and developing illness meant I
had to leave it at the interval (unlike the well-known actor sitting in
front of me, who had been discreetly enjoying a pre-show spliff).
I’m less apologetic about having seen only 20-odd hours of the 50-hour Improvathon
; the days when I would
take in the entire 24-hour cycle The
at one sitting are, alas, behind me now.
David Hare’s The Vertical Hour
finally received its British première some 14 months after its
Broadway opening, and failed to set the arts world alight. Very
nice lighting design by Howard Harrison, reminiscent of some of Robert
Wilson’s painting-with-light stage vistas, but as for the writing, I
genuinely thought for some time that the first tutorial-room scene was
a gentle parody of David Mamet, and later when one character exclaimed,
“People aren’t their views, you know. They aren’t their opinions. They
aren’t just what they say,” I was hard pressed not to laugh out loud.
Written for Theatre