03 May 2010

The Roman Bath by Stanislav Stratiev
Version by Justin Butcher

Ifan Meredith - Ivan Antonov
Bo Poraj - Vasilev MA
Rhona Croker - Martha
Lloyd Woolf - Lifeguard
Christopher Hogben - Deaf Mute/TV Assistant/Committee Member 2
Jonathan Rhodes - Banev/TV Director
David Schaal - Party Rep/Workman 2
Wendy Wason - Miss DiMatteo/TV Presenter
Richard Atwill - Column/Workman 1/Committee Member 1
Directed by Russell Bolam
Designed by Jean Chan

Seen on Press Night at the Arcola Theatre. Alan Corduner popped into the bar at the interval but I don't think he was in the audience.

I enjoy farce and slapstick when it's well written and performed - Boeing, Boeing is a good case in point.

This is a bit of a mess. It gets of to an awfully tortured start with a tv news crew. It has a worthy theme to explore but the characters are two mannered and audience aware. I'm sure the actors where doing the director's bidding but it dimishes the respect all concerned should have for the audience. This could have made as much impact and been far funnier if the everyone had performed with more commitment to being present in it. Bo Poraj seems to keep himself within the piece but even he started to despair towards the end. Lloyd Woolf's lifeguard was both well written and even though it was the most ridiculous character, his performance was the most consistently credible.

My notes on the night read something like: This needs some serious tightening up and then a load of waffle I can't read except a note about someone in the audience that looked like Joe Cornish in profile but was disappointing face to face. Proud to be an air-head.

Independent, Guardian and Time Out.