CLARENCE DARROW (play)
CONTAINS GUNSHOTS AND SMOKING.
Ends 11th April 2015.
Audio described performance: 3rd April 2015 at 7.30pm
Captioned performance: 8th April 2015 at 7.30pm
A lawyer tells of his famous cases, including the "Scopes Monkey" and
Kevin Spacey returns to his 2014 role as Clarence Darrow in this one man
play by David W. Rintels, directed by Thea Sharrock.
(Seen at the 5pm performance on 1st June 2014).
Everybody, actors in particular, have a "party piece" that they just love to
share. This is Kevin Spacey's. That isn't to denigrate the performance, though.
What we get is an hour and a half of a turn-of-the-20th Century US lawyer's
memories, recalled as he bustles around his office and later relaxes in an
The time flies as we learn of employment and race cases he's taken on - and his
stunning record saving the accused from execution. The show has it as all 102
accused avoiding the death sentence, the programme notes a single failure, but
no matter. It's an impressive record.
Impressive too is Mr Spacey. Making the most of an audience on four sides, you
can easily forgive the rather "boxing ring" parading of each photograph, and
have to love SPOILER ALERT his interaction with the front row - an attractive
lady will get her money's worth from a "premium" seat for sure. SPOILER ENDS.
Perhaps his haranguing of the jury each time is a little less masterly than a
real lawyers (struck the monkey as a little too quick and not all that vocally
controlled as you might expect), and a contradiction about "nobody is bad" in
act one with "some people just are bad" in act two may surprise a careful
listener, but this is a master at work.
If the material isn't always more than having a slightly "John Grisham" feel,
it's still a pleasant way to pass a Sunday afternoon. Add an actor unafraid to
precede his opening line with a polite "bless you" to a sneezing audience
member, and it's a perfect fit.
This is a trip to a favourite relative's place for a very special few hours.