By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Jonathan Church and Sean Foley
Venue: Minerva Theatre
Date: Monday 5th July 2010
This was the first play of the double bill. Even though I knew the play, it took me a few moments to realise what was going on, as the Minerva’s seating has been rearranged to include seats at the back before. This time, I spotted Richard McCabe, and realised the seats at the back were for the cast.
When the second critic arrived, the lights had already gone down so he had to sneak on past the audience like a regular latecomer. The extra cast members sitting around the two critics were a plus this time – I think the two men sat in splendid isolation in the National production – although it did seem a little odd that they weren’t bothered by two men chatting away next to them.
The set was excellent for the stylised crime piece the critics are watching. A few pieces of furniture places around the central square created the drawing room, and across the corner nearest us was the sofa which concealed the dead body. Una Stubbs was marvellous as the charlady, the rest of the cast were also excellent at conveying the mannered delivery of the time/genre, and the only let down was Nicholas Le Provost’s delivery, which lost a lot of the dialogue as far as I was concerned.
© 2010 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me