29 September 2008

Now or Later by Christopher Shinn

Marc - Adam James
Matt - Domhnall Gleeson
John - Eddie Redmayne
Jessica - Nancy Crane
Tracy - Pamela Nomveete
John Sr - Matthew Marsh

Directed by Dominic Cooke and designed by Hildegard Bechtler
In it's UK premiere run Downstairs at the Royal Court...though I saw it upstairs in the middle of the circle, if you see what I mean!
Lovely in the audience: Dan Stevens.

Despite my efforts to avoid reviews before seeing this, I couldn't help notice that the run had been extended so the ticket buying public must have responded well. It's good to know there are enough people prepared to trundle out of town to the edge of Chelsea and pay the full but ridiculously low price to see 75 minutes of tight drama. They are all justly rewarded.

I think I saw Dying City Upstairs and that production seemed to benefit from a little claustrophobia, though it imposed a design problem that impaired a necessary suspension of belief. Now or Later needs a great big sterile, functional hotel room and the simplicity of the set works perfectly. I think there was one fluff with an entrance from Tracy but I need to check the text to see if that might have been intended.

Enough comment on detail, this was a delicious piece of drama! There is an admirable skill in creating such taught dialogue which covers so many issues almost simultaneously. All the performances were so exquisitely judged that the constant barrage of information and opinion seemed to flow like warm chocolate into the brain.

It is of some mild amusement to me that a tight production like this should have spawned a somewhat shakey little website. Bless !