30 June 2008

2,000 Feet Away by Anthony Weigh

AG - Ian Hart
Boy - Joe Ashman/Oliver Coopersmith
Byron/Resident - Roger Sloman
Nan - Phyllis
Deputy - Joseph Feinnes
Woman/Manager - Kirsty Bushell
Waiter/18 yr old - Kevin Trainor
Girl - Miranda Princi/Charlotte Beaumont
Child - Charlie Coopersmith/Kalum Howard

Directed by Josie Rourke
Designed by Lucy Osborne

Seen in it's debut production at the tiny Bush Theatre

Celebrity in the audience: Adrian Scarborough

I'm not a big fan of Mr Feinnes but I cannot fault the job he made tonight. The american accents sounded fine to my ear and the young girl was remarkable.....but of the two listed in the programme, I am not sure which one she was (might be Miranda) but I suspect I will see her again.

The Bush auditorium stunk of diesel or some other noxious vapour for almost the entire production. About ten minutes from the end, it seemed to dissipate but I caught myself not breathing at various points. I say 'auditorium' but it's about the size of half a church hall with four or five rows of seats in a C shape. On one of the back audience corners was a framed copy of Grant Wood's famous painting(see above). We took some note if it and had fortunately committed it to memory before the (rather delayed) start of the play.

The picture was used as a running device that worked quite well to cement the various vignettes that formed the narrative of this piece. Ian Hart plays a sex offender and he is not allowed to be within 2000 feet of a place where children congregate. His character is called AG, presumably named after the painting which his parents annually dress up to compete for a look-alike prize which they won 11 or 12 years running.

So we see a slice of Middle America and whilst Mr Weigh has some good things to say, I found it wavered a little and preferred to view it as a series of vingettes, loosely connected. I'm not even sure it really lived up to the hype for me but I am very glad I saw it and it certainly made me think a lot.