26 September 2008

a number by caryl churchill

Father - Kenneth Cranham
Son - Lee Ross

Directed by Joe Penhall who was in the audience as was Wallace Shawn.

Hmmm - the fourth time I have seen this production and I've heard it on the radio a couple of times. I'm sorry to say that much as I enjoy Ken, I feel that he needed more preparation. This is tricky banter and Lee was completely on top of it but could only shine when he wasn't reliant on Ken's focus.
I'm a big fan of Joe Penhall too but I have to question the need for introductions in each scene. The original production was almost as sparse as a rehearsed reading and there was no confusion then. In fact, I think it benefited from that moment on hesitation from the audience. Lee have very clear and easily identifiable persona so sorry Joe, I know the other readings did it but there are not rules and if if there were, you wouldn't normally stall before breaking them.

Lee was good and it was fun to see it live again. It will always be a superb piece.