The Threepenny Opera: (seen at the afternoon performance on 25th June
2016). This polite production precisely matches its audience. An elderly
gentleman a row in front of the monkey was in considerable distress with his
breathing. Yet good manners prevented his party making a hasty exit until an
appropriate break in proceedings. And this show is the same.
Quite clearly ribald and longing to 'let rip' at every opportunity, instead its
stylised (nifty blood, though) right from the miniaturised "Mack The Knife"
onwards. Oh, the performances are excellent. George Ikediashi as Balladeer is in
top voice, Haydn Gwynne a sleazy wife to perfection, more odious even than
husband Peacham (Nick Holder in Toby Belch mode). Daughter Polly (Rosalie Craig)
is a chip off the old block, with her husband Mack (Rory Kinnear) not really
standing a chance.
The backing players are also beautifully done - Matt Cross as Officer Smith in
particular, with Andrew Buckley, Jamie Beddard and Dominic Tighe as an inept
gang not far behind. Note too for understudy Toyin Ayedun-Alase in as Betty, and
Sharon Small as Jenny Diver. Also a nod to the musicians under David Shrubsole.
The paper set is evocative, the clothes rails a neat way of establishing
characters, and yet, and yet... while it moves along nicely and is seldom less
than compelling - there's something perhaps too arch and knowing. It really is a
performance and not always quite as "tongue in cheek" as it might be. Still
worth a look, though, as it's an entertaining romp through an old favourite,
with a great cast.
The Seagull - Part of the "Young Chekhov Trilogy": Not
available. Reports are of a "vibrant yet still" version, with a proper grasp of
psycho-drama to keep the tension until the end. Key roles are beautifully done -
Anna Chancellor receiving universal praise, and Olivia Vinall on best form.
Joshua James completes the plaudits, and it's one classic worthy of the name, is
Ivanov - Part of the "Young Chekhov Trilogy": Not available.
Reports are that there are sharp intakes of breath at the anti-semitism, proving
how this production hits hope. Olivia Vinall as the target copes well with title
role holder Geoffrey Streatfeild's invective, with fatherly support from
Jonathan Coy. Less actively intense than the other two plays in the season, yet
with the ability to shock and move in a different way, is the feeling here.
Platonov - Part of the "Young Chekhov Trilogy": Not available.
Professional reviewers agree that this is the one to see. Geoffrey Streatfeild
is praised as being the equal of others who have take the role, and director
Kent has learned from a previous outing and produced a spare event that lets the
characters breathe among the words. Real menace, apparently and some excellent
supporting cast make it the key event in this season, seems to be the opinion.
Amadeus: Not available.
Peter Pan: Not available.