19 April 2006


by Christopher Hampton and based on
the novel by Sando Marai

Henrik - Jeremy Irons
Konrad - Patrick Malahide
Nini - Jean Boht

Directed by Michael Blakemore
Designed by Peter J Davison

at the Duke of York's Theatre

Essentially a two hander set in the home of old Hungarian aristocracy. The story is the attempt of a man to come to terms with brief events and realisations that shaped and ruined the past forty years of his life. The play is about the turmoil of love, betrayal and denial. I am obviously very suggestable at the moment but I felt it was unlike any Hampton writiing I had witnessed before and I felt he had an almost Beckett influence so far as Henrik was concerned.

The performances were very good. I have a natural aversion to Jeremy Irons but I would never deny that he is a good actor. I don't like his voice or his physical appearance but it was a lot of lines for him to deliver and he stopped it being dull. Patrick was incredible, in my opinion. He was being talked at for a large proportion of the play and he was focused the entire time.....even though he was playing 'deep in thought'. Jean Boht has to turn up to each performance with half a dozen lines right at the beginning and right at the end. She does them adequately and it must be a good gig for her.