Fences – September 2013

Experience: 7/10

By August Wilson

Directed by Paulette Randall

Company: Theatre Royal Bath Productions

Venue: Duchess Theatre

Date: Saturday 14th September 2013

Steve can remember the 1990 production of this play in the West End starring Yaphet Kotto. In fact, Yaphet Kotto is all he can remember from that production; his performance was so strong that all the other actors have faded into oblivion, which is pretty amazing given that the likes of Adrian Lester were also in the cast. This current production didn’t rise to that standard although it was enjoyable and quite moving, especially at the end. There was one understudy today, with Jay Marsh playing Lyons, but apart from his clothes looking very baggy – is he smaller than Peter Bankolé or was this a deliberate design choice? – I wasn’t aware of anything missing with his part. The crisp-munchers in the front row may have had more of an impact on the performance though; Lenny Henry even came forward after taking his bows to mouth at the offenders not to eat crisps at the theatre again!

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