Ends 25th August 2018.
Ed and Matt are lawyers on opposite sides in a rape case. The key witness is a
Nina Raine's new play, first seen in Spring 2017 at the Dorfman Theatre,
transfers to the West End, directed by Roger Michell.
(From the previous run at the Dorfman Theatre - seen at the afternoon
performance on 9th May 2017. Some actors have now left the cast).
"A Conservative is a Liberal who once got mugged on the train" is a cynical but
somewhat true motto. In this somewhat bitty new play from Nina Raine, a pair of
dislikeable barristers, their wives, a couple of friends and a crime victim
(plus a psychotherapist) wander through a bunch of "now you know what it feels
like, because it has happened to you" situations.
Those seeking actual drama can look elsewhere - the only serious matter, a rape
victim failing to convince a court - is callously flushed away in favour of a
load of bickering by a bunch of "haves" who want more. If the monkey didn't like
the group much before, by the end, it was even less keen.
Still, the performances are good. Anna Maxwell Martin (Kitty) is landed with a
role that starts testing her, then discards the skill she has put in. Priyanga
Burford (Rachel) gets a more even share, and is an actor to watch. Adam James
(Jake), Ben Chaplin (Edward) and Pip Carter (Tim) are a bunch of alpha-males
served up beta lines. Why the rather attractive Daisy Haggard (Zara) is wasting
her time on them isn't really clear - perhaps her slightly dizzily written and
ill-defined character really goes in for that kind of thing. Forgotten victim
Heather Craney (Gayle) makes the most of a cliché, and deserves recognition for
Add a weird set from Hildegard Bechteler and tight direction from Roger Michell,
the result is the best that can be made of a piece which may have things being
said beneath the surface, but which questions little in cross-examination. Does
what it sets out to do, but fails to convince, feels the monkey.
FOOTNOTE: Professional reviews of the revival are pretty much the same
unanimous praise as before - so the monkey remains at odds with the prevailing
opinion, it seems.