30 March 2006

The Cut by Mark Ravenhill

Paul - Ian McKellen
John - Jimmy Akingbola
Gita - Bindu De Stoppani
Susan - Deborah Findlay
Mina - Emma Beattie
Stephen - Tom Burke


Directed by Michael Grandage
Designer - Paul Wills

Donmar Warehouse during the last week of
the run (do you seeing a pattern forming?!)

I missed the rehearsed reading of Mark's first full length play when it was performed 10 days ago at the Royal Court so I felt as though I was paying my dues here.

Mark has distilled the political and social climate into it's purest form.......the us and them. As is the way of the world and the intelligent beings that inhabit it, the tables turn and the hunters become the hunted. This is more a product of their own conscience and they suffer willingly. A long discussion about acceptance and submission. I felt some parallels with last night's Thomas Moore and Ian McKellen's character both suffering incarceration for being passive but with very different convictions of the soul.

To say this is innovative probably implies that it's originality is productive but I didn't feel it had quite the brio I was expecting. I can't find fault with any individual aspect but the total didn't appear equal to the sum of the very fine parts.

A Man for all Seasons - By Robert Bolt

The Common Man - Tony Bell
Sir Thomas Moore - Martin Shaw
RIchard Rich - Gregory Fox-Murphy
Duke of Norfolk - Paul Shelley
Alice - Alison Fiske
Margaret - Sophie Shaw
Wolsey - Brian Poyser
Cromwell - Clive Carter
Henry VIII - Daniel Flynn
William Roper - John Sackville
Signore Chapuys - Clive Kneller
Directed by Michael Rudman
Designer - Paul Farnsworth

The Theatre Royal Haymarket during the last week of it's run.

One of the more accessible plays about such a fraught period in English history and this production makes it every bit as tactile as an episode of CSI.

The lines just slide from the tongues of these consummate professionals. The clean, clever design of the set just serves to distill this tale of uncompromising faith in one's own conscience into something pure and definitive.

Beautiful performances and confident direction. A complete joy.