25 July 2009

The Observer by Matt Charman

Tony - Leo Bill
Police Officer/Obinna/Soldier - Daon Broni
Fiona Russell - Anna Chancellor
Saunders - James Fleet
Fabian/Henrik - Peter Forbes
Declan - Lloyd Hutchinson
Daniel Okeke - Chuk Iwuji
Kalifa/Madam Conteh/Waletta - Aïcha Kossoko
Muturi/Mr Sesay - Louis Mahoney
Aarya/Dr Daramy/Wink/General Okute - Cyril Nri
Edi/Judy - Isabel Pollen
Stenographer/Duduzile/Chimma - Joy Richardson

Director - Richard Eyre
Designer - Rob Howell

seen on a last minute, half-price email offer at the Cottesloe towards the end of it's run. I couldn't use the seat I'd booked because of the supposedly excessive endowments of the gentlemen in the seats either side of it whose gaping legs completely obscured the fact that there even was a seat between them. Fortunately, I was able to grab something more central further along the row.

I suppose I should check some reviews but Richard Eyre usually chooses pieces he can be passionate about and that's good enough for me. Anna Chancellor's performance and presence on the stage was remarkable. She was dominating, vulnerable and sexy all at the same time. She was absolutely radiant with little, or no make-up. James Fleet's role was sadly all too small. It was mainly expositional and whilst he was a joy to watch, I wondered how seductive the part had been to him.

Rob Howell rarely disappoints but what he does with these wonderfully clever drapes was a delight to watch. The versatility in their simplicity was very satisfying.

The script was taught, the cast were very fine and the whole production speeded along nicely.

An extract from the programme can be found here.