I’ve often remarked on the phenomenon
whereby supposedly major West End productions close before we have the
chance to reprint their reviews, but a much sadder analogue of that
event has occurred in this issue. By the time you read the
reviews of Prick Up Your Ears
Matt Lucas has left the role of Kenneth Halliwell. Bill Hagerty
had time to note and explain this in his Sun
review: Lucas, playing the
role of a man who murdered his lover Joe Orton and then committed
suicide, was distressed following the suicide of his own former civil
partner Kevin McGee. It’s difficult to remark on this connection
without seeming ghoulish.
Lucas’s departure is unfortunate not just on the level of his personal
life, but because he was making a fine fist of his dramatic role.
Well, it’s obvious from the reviews that opinions differ on this score,
but I am in the positive camp. [Subsequent comments cannibalised from Financial
Not even Anna Friel in the buff could thrill me during Breakfast At Tiffany’s
, to the
extent that I actually left at the interval. It’s not a bad play
or production as such, just a terribly dull one which I didn’t think
likely to show me anything in the second half that I hadn’t already
seen. (I’m speaking dramatically, not anatomically.) The
pedant in me had already noted the presence of a Japanese-Californian
character curiously uninterned in 1943; of Holly Golightly soulfully
singing “In The Pines” a year before even the blues giant Leadbelly
recorded it and practically half a century before any of us heard it,
as covered by Nirvana; and most dispiritingly, a number of tea-chests
in the stage set conspicuously stencilled “Belfast via Felixstowe”,
which must have gone well astray to have made it to New York.
Though perhaps not as far astray as Tim Walker when he speculates that
the Old Vic’s production of Inherit
is unlikely to make it to Broadway because of the
strength of fundamentalist and creationist views in the U.S. A
more probable reason is the fact that it’s barely been two years since
the play’s last Broadway outing.
Written for Theatre Record.