19 November 2007

The Arsonists by Max Frisch & translated by Alistair Beaton

Anna - Zawe Ashton
Chorus - Michael Begley
Schmitz - Paul Chahidi
Eisenring - Benedict Cumberbatch
Babettte - Jacqueline Defferary
Chorus - David Hinton
Biedermann - Will Keen
Chorus/Dr of Philosophy - Munir Khairdin
Chorus - Claire Prempeh
Chorus/Widow Knechling - Alwyne Taylor
Chorus Leader - Graham Turner

Directed by Ramin Gray
Designed by Anthony Ward

Seen during it's run downstairs at the Royal Court - Circle A18

Actor in the audience: Harry Lloyd - well, he was in the bar, at least!

I wonder why they needed to enlist the help of the fire department at a station as far away as Euston? Were Chelsea unhelpful or has that station been closed?

Well, thank goodness for Will Keen. Without his dry wit and immaculate timing this would have little to commend it. He was glorious and there were a couple of nice staging gags but I loathed and loathed and loathed the bloody chorus thing. As soon as they started, the whole thing descended to a school play for me. I should make it very clear that it was the format that grated. The performers were all top class. I feel disloyal but I always have my reservations about Ramin's work. I should try to rise above it.

On a practical note, I made the unusual choice of circle seats on a whim but I'm glad I did as much of the action takes place on the roof of the house.