Thursday, 29 September 2016

travesties

On Friday 23rd September I went with Hei Mun to the Menier Chocolate Factory to see Travesties. I'd read it a few years ago, but had never seen it. I had remarked earlier that with Tom Stoppard you get jokes, things to think about, and jokes to think about, and that was borne out. I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd expected to, although it was well done; partly I think because I was tired, and partly because you could see why some people might think it 'too clever for its own good'. Tom Stoppard and Patrick Marber, the director, were both in the audience, and I saw in the programme that Tom Stoppard was very involved in the production, working with Patrick Marber, and drawing in old material and doing rewrites. It was a preview, so I'm sure they were still doing work on it, and there were a couple of hesitations in delivery. It was sold out, and I was very grateful to Hei Mun for being sufficiently organised, as she often is, to get tickets.

Tom Hollander was of course very good, playing with the kind of tone, mannerisms and expressions he's become associated with in recent years. I'm not sure, but I think it's the first time I've seen him on stage since I saw him a very long time ago in The Government Inspector at the Almeida, when I remember him being written up in Time Out as the brilliant new coming star of the stage. He dropped off my radar at least for quite a few years after that, until he started becoming deservedly successful in TV series.

Freddie Fox I'd seen recently in the Southwark Playhouse's Midsummer Night's Dream, and Forbes Masson most recently in the RSC's history sequence in one or more of the Henry VIes. And it seems likely that I have seen most of the rest of the cast before on stage.