Monday, 26 October 2015

the red lion

On Monday 10 August Bethan and I went to the National Theatre, to their redone smallest theatre (now called the Dorfman) for the first time, to see The Red Lion, Patrick Marber's football play. We enjoyed it. It was a three-hander (young future hope, manager, old coach), acted well and well written, though some of the plot and character developments seemed if not quite implausible then at least underexplained (the player's religious opposition to cheating doesn't last long). It was a nice space, and we could see pretty well though we were sitting in the sideways facing seats in the first half (usher suggested at half-time that we could sit in a couple of empty seats in the central stalls, and we took her up on that). (It was quite a last-minute purchase, and I was surprised I was still able to get tickets.

(Calvin Demba (player) was new. Daniel Mays (manager) has a distinctive face and I'm sure I've seen him before, though not sure what in. (I see from Wikipedia that we certainly saw him in Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing, and Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang, and I may have seen him in the first episode of Plus One but I baled out of that series. And I see from his Twitter account that we're going to see him as Private Walker in the new Dads Army film.) Peter Wight (coach) looked familiar, but possibly generic (from Wikipedia, certainly seen him in Mike Leigh films and Hot Fuzz.)

First couple of pages of reviews. Guardian. Observer. Telegraph. What's On Stage. Spectator (not very positive, his criticisms are fair). Independent interview (with some interesting background, including his involvement with Lewes FC). Daily Mail. Variety. Hollywood Reporter. BritishTheatre. Time Out. West Ham Till I Die (definitely the first time I've linked to a review from there - long and interesting, and 182 comments, which I haven't read; reminded me that the air was full of the smell of Deep Heat). The Arts Desk. Financial Times. Evening Standard interview. Evening Standard. Rev Stan blog. The Stage. LondonTheatre. Mostly positive, a couple quite critical. Surprising how much of the plot some of them give away (I've certainly found in the past that reviews give different things away, so as soon as you read more than one you're getting too much information, if you read them before you go).