21 August 2008

Under The Blue Sky by David Eldridge

Nick - Chris O'Dowd
Helen - Lisa Dillon
Michelle - Catherine Tate
Graham - Dominic Rowan
Anne - Francesca Annis
Robert - Nigel Lindsay

Directed by Anna Mackmin
Designed by Lez Brotherston

We sat in the front of the circle which gave a brilliant view but punishing for comfort. Nicholas Grace made a last minute entrance to sit next to us which for some unaccountable reason made me feel even more self conscious about moving to ease the pain.

I had wanted to see a full production of this because I had really enjoyed the reading held at the Royal Court a couple of years ago. I was disappointed when the cast was announced for a couple of reasons but Mr O'Dowd is reason enough to turn up. However, my response to the suggestion that I went along was luke warm for quite a while. I had tried to avoid reviews as always but couldn't help absorbing a less than glowing vibe from out there in the theatreland ether.

All that said, I was joyfully surprised in the actual event. I had decided that I could not justify full price (when do I EVER do that ?) so I had resigned myself to get a TKTS special. What's On Stage have evenings that often amount to the same cost but often with a programme and Q&A thrown in. This was one of those and it made the evening much more satisfying.

First of all, this felt like a totally different play to the one I saw read a couple of years ago. So much so that I doubted my recall but both productions gave as much satisfaction. Three vignettes of relationships but all complete enough to give satisfaction........and I will say that they were perfectly cast.

The Q & A was very entertaining with Chris's effortless and uncontrollable humorous interjections moving things around to great effect and the best thing was that we were able to move downstairs to seats that had more respect for the 21st century human form. Jolly good fun all round.