Chorus of Disapproval

October 12, 2012

The title of this play about the goings on in an Am Dram group, and how life reflects art – was our feeling entirely. Which was unfortunate and surprising as it had some big names and well trodden faces. Rob Brydon , Nigel Harman (Young Dennis off East Enders), Ashley Jensen ( Ugly Betty and Extras) and Trevor Nunn directing. But it never ignited. Never gelled. Never felt the relationships. Tended to feel like one person stands at the front and delivers their lines, then the next person. I always thought that it was the cavernous space of the Olivier that made it hard to generate emotional impact, but now I think it’s Trevor Nunn.

It’s not to say it’s all bad. Individually, they were all OK performances. It was just that the whole was actually less than the sum of its parts.  I thought Bridget the feisty barmaid and stage manager shone, I enjoyed Nigel Harman’s nerdy Lothario, Ashley Jensen had her moments. And Rob Brydon was Rob Brydon. The sex siren was played well, the older, interfering woman and the no-nonsense Northener – but they were lightly drawn stereotypical characters nonetheless.

The costumes for the Beggar’s Opera (the production the company were putting on) looked amazing for an  amateur dramatic  society – and I felt it was unnecessary to make them all shit, wooden  actors with stick on smiles and near-robotic dancing. The point of the play was not to contrast their play within a play performances with their ‘off stage’ performance (and it didn’t work anyway), but to show how their real lives paralleled that of their characters. And it was meant to be funny. Which it was at times, but by no means head back, mouth open gasping for air. Two stars


4 Responses to “Chorus of Disapproval”

  1. Yankeevisitor Says:

    I rather enoyed the production. Was it first-rate? Certainly not, but a pleasant couple of hours nontheless. And considering what else is on in the West End (The Bodyguard? Jersey Boys? Puleez!), a good choice for an evening out in London, especially on short notice.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Yankee – and taking the time to comment. Perhaps it came too soon after seeing the fabulous Twelfth Night (which is now in the West End), that I didn’t rate it highly. But each to their own and I love live theatre – even the ones that i don’t adore are useful to measure others agains!

  2. Janet Says:

    Another one I won’t be bothering with then…

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