01 October 2009

The Power of Yes by David Hare

Ensemble - Julien Ball
Paul Hammond/A Hedge Fund Manager - Ian Bartholomew
The Author - Anthony Calf
The Chair of a Mortgage Lender/A Leading Industrialist - Richard Cordery
Howard Davies - Jonathan Coy
Ensemble - Mark Elstob
Ronald Cohen - Paul Freeman
John Moulton - Ian Gelder
Simon Loftus/A Northern Echo Journalist - John Hollingworth
Myron Scholes - Bruce Myers
A Financial Times Journalist - Claire Price
David Marsh/Tom Huish - Jeff Rawle
A Young Man at the Bank - Christian Roe
Masa Serdarevic - Jemima Rooper
Adair Turner - Malcolm Sinclair
Scott Rudman - Peter Sullivan
John Cruddas. MP/Paul Mason - Nicolas Tennant
Ensemble - Alan Vicary
Harry Lovelock - Simon Williams
Deborah Solomoan - Lizzie Winkler

Director - Angus Jackson
Designer - Bob Crowley

Seen whilst still in preview at the Lyttelton Theatre.

There's all sorts of info to plunder at the NT website and I'm still late enough with my notes to be able to link the What's On Stage review round-up. As with Poliakoff, there are critics who think they are being clever when they pull these men's work to pieces but they will have met their match with this one. A bald account of the banking crisis brought together with an accessible lightness of touch by allowing us to live through the research process with The Author. I wonder if there might be a much shorter companion production to go with this eventually, or if Mr Hare simply found the evidence too compelling and complex to put into a regular drama.

A staggeringly impressive cast guide us through this fact & opinion-heavy piece with ease. Simon Williams gallantly soldiered through with what sounded like the beginnings of swine flu. A few people fumbled and I had great issue with Anthony Calf's wardrobe since he was supposed to be playing one of the most stylishly dressed playwrights of our time but that didn't take away from his wonderful great tent pole of a performance.

The simple dictates of bringing the cases of the relevant real people to the stage made this piece male-heavy but I suspect that Hare was acutely aware of this and introduced some wonderfully tight female parts for the likes of Misses Rooper, Winkler and Price to balance the evening. Nicolas Tennant and Paul Freeman were underused but I don't see a way around that. Peter Sullivan gave us another chance to witness his deliciously comfortable portrayal of an American.

If I ever catch up with this blog, I may ad some photos. I found myself sometimes distracted by the set in an effort to see how they were projecting and synching it. It was one of those complicated things that looked very simple to the audience.