24 May 2008

Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen
(version by Mike Poulton)

Rebecca West - Helen McCrory
Mrs Helsketh - Veronica Quilligan
Doctor Croll - Malcolm Sinclair
Johannes Rosmer - Paul Hilton
Ulrik Brendel - Paul Moriarty
Peder Mortensgaard - Peter Sullivan

Directed by Anthony Page
Designed by Hildegard Bechtler

Seen during the premiere run of this version at the Almeida A9.
Celebs in the audience: Penelope Wilton & Gemma Jones.

Really fabulous version that romped along at a perfectly judged pace. Performaces were really good throughout though I think I detected a couple of deftly fielded stumbles from Paul. Peter has the shortest stage time of the evening but some of the most laughter inducing lines delivered with his usual dry wit. Both ladies glided from terse pragmatism through to heart wrenching sorrow.

There can never be enough of Paul Moriarty and Malcolm Sinclair's performance was reassuringly effortless.
I did have a couple of issues with the set though and I hope this was due to a bit of hasty work from the construction team rather than Hildegard's design.
As a silly aside, somebody in the front row had her phone in a noisy plastic bag and it went off within 5 minutes of 'curtain up'. She did not turn it off but proceeded to fumble and send a text, treating everyone behind her to a glowing torch effect from her screen and noisy interference to her nearest neighbours. She was completely oblivious to the diversion she was causing the audience AND the cast and proceeded to talk to her companion. I admire her total lack of ego but it was an horrible way to start the production. She eventually left the auditorium at a totally inappropriate and unconsidered moment a few minutes later and I had to assume she had some family crisis. Nonetheless, I did breathe a sigh of relief.

At least three more phones rang out during this performance. How hard can it be?