Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The End of Longing - Playhouse Theatre

I was never into the series, Friends, but was curious to see how TV actor, Matthew Perry, would make his stage transition. Jack is an alcoholic. Stephanie is a prostitute. A neurotic Stevie is thirty-seven and wants a baby and Joseph, in his own words, is stupid. The four characters open the play by telling us everything about themselves so there’s little left in way of suspense; except to see whether the obvious ensuing relationships will work. The action unfolds predominately in bedrooms and bars in the first half and a hospital in the second. While the story, in itself, is good natured the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Brace yourself for several foul-mouthed tirades, unimaginative dialogue and the odd comedic moment. But if you like happy ever after endings, you won’t be disappointed.

The End of Longing can be seen @ The Playhouse Theatre until 14th May 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Gielgud Theatre

I hadn’t read the book, so although I knew the story line, I didn’t have much in way of expectations. Christopher is a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome. The play is depicted by the teacher, at his special needs schools, reading out the story he has written about his attempt to solve the murder of their neighbour’s dog. His investigation leads him on a physical and emotional quest in which he uncovers truths about those around him, including his parents.
The stage, set out as a black grid, is versatile and transforms from projecting his mathematic formulae to a house, to a train. Sion Daniel Young does a great job with the character of Christopher (I was reminded of him as Albert in War Horse).  His touching, often poignant, performance makes difficult viewing at times; like when he recoils from human touch.  Comedic moments help to lighten the otherwise heavy matter, much need in a piece of this nature, and what audience doesn’t go gaga over a live dog on stage.
Stick behind at the end and Christopher reappears after the curtain call to explain a complicated mathematical equation used during the play.