Archive for January, 2013

Far from the bleak Scandinavian drama that the title suggests, Conor McPherson’s translation of August Strindberg’s play is richly textured and darkly comic. Kevin R McNally and Indira Varna play a warring couple whose marriage is nearing either its 25th anniversary or its end and Daniel Lapaine plays a figure from their past who is drawn into the battlefield. The tiny space of this studio theatre is absolutely ideal for this intimate human drama which is performed to perfection and absorbs the audience totally. This is an evening of all-round excellence.

photo-116The National has thrown everything at this jolly production for the Festive Season: there are magnificent Ronald Searle inspired surreal sets, delightful G&S style songs that introduce and close each act and the splendid American comic actor John Lithgow stars as the hapless title character. Yet it is trimmings such as these that linger in the memory and the main course, Arthur Wing Pinero’s slightly satirical late-19th Century farce, seems rather unworthy of them. Whilst it is true that there are some moments of inspired comedy, sadly there are also long spells of tedium when not even the greatest efforts of those involved can breathe life into the play.