The Dazzle*** (Found111)

Posted: December 21, 2015 in Theatre


It is going to take a big star name to draw big audiences to the top floor of a disused something or other, next to Foyles in Charing Cross Road. The name is Andrew Scott, an actor with a wide range who seems to be specialising lately in characters who are bonkers, a trend that continues here. Can we guess in what direction he will take his Hamlet at the Almeida next year? To be fair, the whole set-up here is bonkers, the play being performed in what looks like a used furniture depositary, with the audience having to pick out the chair that appears least uncomfortable and least likely to collapse through age. In Richard Greenberg’s play set in the early 20th Century, Scott is Langley Collyer, a child protege pianist who has never grown up. He lives in a shambolic New York apartment, surrounded by junk, with his brother and minder Homer (David Dawson, every bit as eye-catchng as Scott) and is lined up to marry rich socialite Milly (Joanna Vanderham, also superb). The play is a surreal comedy that is at times very funny and ultimately very moving as we are shown three lost individuals who are reaching out for a firmer grip on existence. However, at well over two hours (with interval), it is too long and does not really go anywhere. In Simon Evans’ production, the actors dazzle, but the play sort of fizzles.

Performance date: 14 December 2015

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