14 February 2011

Our Private Life by Pedro Miguel Rozo
Translated by Simon Scardifield

Sergio - Eugene O'Hare
Carlos - Colin Morgan
The Mother - Ishia Bennison
Tania - Clare Cathcart
The Psychiatrist - Adrian Schiller
The Father - Anthony O'Donnell
Joaquin - Joshua Williams

Directed by Lyndsey Turner and designed by Lizzie Clachan

Seen at the Royal Court Upstairs in it's third performance of the run.

This had better look sharp and settle in before press night although most performances seem to be sold out already. It's a bit of a mess and I fear the fault may be across the language divide.

I had the strong sense that there could be something very good in here but it felt messy and the punch points seemed misplaced. The idea of thoughts being as loud as dialogue in a family who don't communicate properly is a wonderful line of discussion but it wasn't exploited other than for a few lame laughs. This was exacerbated some over-excited members of the audience exploding false guffaws at the start but even they weren't able to sustain them once they'd got over seeing Merlin in the flesh (who seems to have forgotten what to do on a stage).

It doesn't stop there. The mother was poorly cast in particular. She gave an energetic performance but having a brash, 'Jewish Mother' in a family who reference their Catholic upbringing more than once seemed like a strange choice however Joshua William's portrayal of the boy hails another performer's career to watch out for.

The set was clever and simply served the plot although my OCD was bothered by the messy way the tablecloth was skewed across the table for the duration. Had there been an interval, I would have straightened it myself. A traditional stage was used but at right angles to the normal configuration in order to give more width. This meant fewer, longer rows of seats and annoyingly there was no centre aisle.