I saw the matinee of this today and pretty much agree with the general consensus on here. Whishaw was marvellous as per, this was badly flawed though. I think the biggest thing is the amount of potential it had to be just brilliant but it just stumbled and crumbled. I really thought Amanda Hale was fantastic too though sadly ended up being enraptured with the stagecraft behind the arrival and departure of the bed than the play as a whole.
Another example for me really of what little of the plot is divulged on the website sounding particularly gripping and all round fascinating and the play failing to live up to the expectations.
I enjoyed this but mainly for Ben Whishaw being brilliant in a play that doesn't really go anywhere - if that makes any sense. There are some great ideas in there and it starts promising. But I feel like all those ideas are never developed into more and after a while things just seem to repeat themselves without adding anything.
That said it did keep me interested right until the end. That was mainly due to Ben Whishaw though.
I don't really have much to say about this, came out not entirely sure what it was trying to say and rather bemused by some of the route taken in trying to say it. Plus side Theatremonkey is right L22 is really not bad, oddles of leg room, quick exit and when half of the rest of your row gets moved forward in the second half I got to move around the seats to test out all the pillar angles.
came out not entirely sure what it was trying to say
I saw it this afternoon too* and agree - Ben Whishaw carried it, with some excellent support, but the play itself meandered off leisurely in all directions like a snail race. I really enjoyed the university bits, but they seemed to belong to a different play. The Amazon scenes were pointless and lacklustre - Wish List skewered Amazon with infinitely more skill and humanity. The end seemed very random, too. Still, worth going for Ben Whishaw, so I'm glad I made the effort.
Btw, sad to see that nearby gastropub the Old Queen's Head has changed the menu - I'm a mostly-vegetarian but do sometimes eat a pre-theatre burger when I'm in London (yeah, I know) and the 'Kevin Bacon' was in my brother's opinion the best burger in London. Alas, it is now almost all fried chicken and the burger was awful.
*I was the puzzled-looking moon-faced old goth in specs and pond-coloured jumper that looks like a cat's been exercising its claws on it.
Just on the train back from this evening's performance. Yes it meanders and doesn't really go anywhere but I still really enjoyed it. Love the simple, but very fluid and lucid production. The lampooning of gender/sexual politics was excellently done and Ben Whishaw was superb.
I felt it was let down by a disappointing final scene.
Yes, particularly as, given the messianic theme, you knew pretty well how it was likely to end. I was hoping for something that would really pull it back and tie things together but it was just weirdly random. I don't feel like shelling out a tenner for the playscript to see if there was something important I missed, and the Amazon workers coda didn't help either.
It kept reminding me of something (besides the obvious) - a 60s/70s film? Elements of They Might be Giants or, maybe slightly, of Wise Blood or Static (a lost 80s film which Mosquitoes brought to mind as well - warning: if you look at the little clip video on Youtube with the TheThe soundtrack, there's a massive spoiler in it!)
Not had much time to comment lately, but I take the time to do so, as I ran into Parsley at this, which proved to be, along with Ben Whishaw's performance, one of the only things I liked about this.
Some spoilers follow. . .
This lost me from the start, when a chap, who, supposedly visited by God, barely registers the experience as unusual, reacting in an unbelievably plodding and sluggish way. Of course, this is not about God, but how wretched and sad humans are, but this author did better with the same themes in both the previous plays I've seen by him, at Royal Court and the Donmar. In fact, each play this author writes is less interesting than the last, as he assumes Orson Welles' mantle of living his life backwards.
The good thing about hating the play, was getting to hate on it with Parsley, the master of hating on plays, who caned it with me in the interval. Parsley never got past the look of the guy with the huge muscles in the tight T-shirt, who I said I thought looked like a member of the crew of the Starship Enterprise, his t-shirt nike-symbol looking like a Starfleet insignia, which of course meant that his character was marked for slaughter. After all, only James T Kirk, or Ben Whishaw gets to dress like that and survive.
Comparing this play to Ben Whishaw's previous Almeida show, Bakkhai, which I loved, I think what this show really lacked was a good antagonist to embody humanity's ennui. The Ben Whishaw/Bertie Carvel faceoff of Bakkhai was electrifying for me, especially as both characters had so much ying and yang in them you barely knew who to root for. Here, you not only knew who to root for, you knew there was no point doing it anyway, as the play was entirely lacking in thrust.
2 and a half stars, for Ben Whishaw (and Parsley too, who's powerful and expressive id this show lacked, to it's detriment, much like this board. Please come back Parsley!).
I saw this last Saturday but was hesitating to write anything because I didn't make it past the interval. It was the end of a long day and then the damn thing was so dull that I was seriously afraid I was going to nod off and end up in the lap of the stranger next to me. So I fled into the cool Islington night.
'Teddy Ferrera' was a very flawed play but, as Steve says, much better than this (or to be fair - what I saw of this.) 'Ferrera' seemed to be about real things, which this wasn't. I didn't even like Whishaw (who I know can be v. good) - I found him plodding and calculated and unappealing - there I've said it - but maybe he came into his own in the second half. I'll never know.