Amadeus – February 2018

Experience: 6/10

By Peter Shaffer

Directed by Michael Longhurst

Venue: Olivier Theatre

Date: Thursday 1st February 2018

This was something of a disappointment. Given the high standard of some of his previous performances, we were looking forward to seeing Lucien Msamati as Salieri, as well as revisiting this excellent play in a different production. The reviews had been very good, although we hadn’t read any of the details, so it was only as we took our seats that the potential problems became apparent. Still, we kept our minds as open as possible and restrained our expectations: even so, I found myself revising my rating of the experience down and down again. Steve enjoyed it more than I did – he would have given it 7/10 – but we were largely in agreement with the overall standard. So was the paying public, it would seem, as this matinee was only just over half full, leaving large swathes of empty seats in the circle, rear stalls and sides.

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A Number – August 2015

Experience: 4/10

By Caryl Churchill

Directed by Michael Longhurst

Joint production by Nuffield Theatre and Young Vic

Venue: Maria Theatre

Date: Wednesday 5th August 2015

More nonsense from the Young Vic. When we went to pick up our tickets, the young woman at the box office kept the actual tickets and instead gave us a couple of blanks printed with numbers, in this case 211 and 212. In other words, we were given a number so we could get in to see A Number, geddit? I don’t know how long it took the creative team to come up with that particular gem of wit, but if it was any longer than ten seconds they deserve to be fired. This sort of crass idea is becoming all too prevalent nowadays, and while I have no problem with whimsy and humour, this just came across as heavy-handed and patronising. Fortunately Steve got hold of our real tickets as well, so the archives will be complete.

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