Landscape / A Kind of Alaska: (seen at the afternoon preview performance on
10th November 2018).
Like the first production in this season, the title plays form part of a larger
set of short works, collated around a basic theme. This time, it’s
“interpersonal relationships.” Family, lovers, friends.
“Landscape” has Tamsin Greig and Keith Allen talking about seashores and beer
respectively, lives briefly touching in monologue. Interesting textually for the
visual descriptions and vocal rhythms of Pinter.
“Apart From That” gives Lee Evans and Meera Syal a brief phone conversation,
before Tome Edden gets a little kinky in “Girls.” Sadly, what could be a decent
stand-up joke fizzles, and while the audience then laughed uproariously at
“That’s All” which followed as Evans and Allen joined in, the monkey wasn’t in
on the very 1950s “TWTWTW” style sketch humour. “God’s District” with Meera
Syal’s strange missionary work and Lee Evans “Monologue” sadly carried the
feeling to the interval.
“That’s Your Trouble” was more interesting at the start of act two, Evan’s /
Edden’s brief interplay a little more focussed. “Special Offer” by Syal was
obscure, but “Trouble In The Works” was a surreal gem, Edden and Evans redeeming
themselves with the timing. “Night” didn’t do much for the monkey either, but “A
Kind of Alaska” (based on a true story) was mostly compelling. Greig’s
recovering coma patient demonstrated some classy physical as well as emotional
acting, while Allen and Syal provided strong support as doctor and sister
A rare chance to see another set of plays that probably won’t happen again.
Mixed bag, perhaps, but even if the overall rank is 3 stars, it’s worth the
effort simply to complete the set and gain ever greater insight into Pinter’s
world in all aspects of his imagination.
Moonlight / Nightschool: not yet available.