31 March 2008

The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other
by Peter Handke
in a new translation by Meredith Oakes

Susan Brown: Jessie Burton: Pip Carter: Paul Chesterton
: Lisa Dillon: Callum Dixon: Noma Dumezweni: Susan Engel
: Susannah Fielding: Mark Hadfield: Amy Hall: Daniel Hawksford
: Tom Hickey: Richard Hope: Mairead McKinley: Nick Malinowski
: Shereen Martineau: Justine Mitchell: Daniel Poyser: Adrian Schiller
: Amit Shah: Sara Stewart: Giles Terera: Jason Thorpe: Harry Towb
: Simon Wilson: Sarah Woodward

Director: James Macdonald
Set Designer: Hildegard Bechtler

Seen during it's UK premiere run at the Lyttelton E15 on standby (at new increased price!)
Celebs in the audience: Anthony Calf and Paul Gambacini - but not together!

This might have been called "The nigh-on couple of hours we knew very little of each other" as there were a few characters who had direct relationshps but I have not yet read the notes from the programme to discover the full inspiration for this piece.

I am going to start putting the NT links in my blog because they have videos and info that can better explain the production......."Twenty-seven actors, 450 characters and no dialogue: a play without words by the great experimental figure of European theatre, Peter Handke."

You could hardly ask for a more diverse audience and yet the balance was similar to the plays for young people that I saw at the weekend.

From the moment the first few actors hit the stage there was concentrated interaction from the audience. This is the least self-conscience display of mime-craft you are likely to find. Some performances were so subtle that they gained more laughs than the overtly comedic.

I didn't understand the first scattering of petals and perhaps there was no purpose to them other than to give the man purpose. The mirror dress sequence was hilarious and very clever with Jason Thorpe stealing much of the show. The pantomine cat, trailing after Dick Wittington and the two different birds were fleeting moments of joy. I would also like to give a special mention to Tom Hickey and lovely to see Harry Towb on the stage again. There were slow queues and rushed jogs, lovers and hookers, the wounded and broken hearted.

No matter how much Sara Stewart tries to dress down she always has an almost overly polished appearance and a walk that would stop traffic. Susan Brown is the wonderful actress without vanity and I would dearly love to see her work more often. I can't believe she doesn't get the offers and I seem to remember she's a friend of Patsy Pollock so perhaps she just chooses to work out of London and below my radar.