Can’t quite see what all the fuss is about. Saw it tonight and couldn’t really fathom why anyone should think it worthy of revival, and more or less said as much to Christopher Luscombe in the after-show discussion.
Being fairly specific in location and despite the fact it deals in human interaction and lack of direction/determination in our lives, it’s not a patch on Abigail’s Party with which it’s pretty contemporaneous, nor in terms of production does it come anywhere near Luscombe’s moving ‘Enjoy’.
That may be down to the action and I’m a victim of saw-the-original syndrome and Imogen Stubbs nice as she is doesn’t have the vocal timbre or natural anarchy of Billie Whitelaw, and Chloe Newsome is just too still and scary to give a third dimension to the Barbara Ferris part.
Good work though from Jonathan Guy Lewis and interesting casting including Ian Talbot, giving up the day job as artistic director of the Open Air Theatre, to play a bit part.
Of course it’s refreshing to hear some Frayn dialogue from the days when he was actually funny and didn’t take himself too seriously (i.e. before the Copenhagen/Democracy watershed).
The cast said audience reaction had been surprisingly varied, some nights almost no laughs - rivalling a famous production at the Watermill Newbury where Frayn had told them not a single line attracted a laugh and encouraged him to re-assess Alphabetical Order as a ‘play’ rather than a ‘comedy’.
Luscombe’s next project is to be a revival of his production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’. Hopefully without Christopher Biggins who ‘graced’ its last outing in Blackpool. You read it here first.
Thanks to everyone who joined Erin Kelly, Melanie McGrath and me at Mansfield Central Library on Saturday 25 February. We had a panel discussion and Q&A, ...