Went to the Thursday Matinee and it was not as bad as I expected it after reading this thread ;-) I would give it 3 out of 5 stars, I saw worse before. It is not great art but ok. Nothing special about John Malcovich, did expect a bit more on that front.
Well I didn't think it was as bad as it's been made out to be but then the expectations game is a funny one. On which subject I was expecting a critique of power and greed and find a mildly amusing dark comedy in the first half which then rather peters out in the second.
Same as with sportspersons a good actor does not become a bad actor overnight. There's nothing wrong with Malkovich's performance. It may not be the performance of the decade but it's certainly not bad.
If this play had come out of nowhere then perhaps it would be seen in a different light, the problem is all the marketing which has harped on Weinstein and his crimes and excesses. The Malkovich character isn't Weinstein - he's annoying but too light in tone and (despite some of the lines) isn't a credible villain.
Saw this last night. Theatre quite full including some rather dressy 'date night types' (which feels, for some reason, worthy of comment).
Anyhow, it felt to me as if many reviews might have been written before the reviewers had seen it. The 'too soon' brigade breaking cover and virtue signalling like fury.
It's far from great but it's certainly not 'one star' fare. It's *very* David Mamet - in your face, shouty, speechy, sweary and provocative. But surely the point of the laughs is that they catch in your throat. That you laugh, indeed, with shock and horror. That you're manipulated into feeling conflicted and confused. And in many respects it works on that level.
I thought the first half ratcheted up the tension really effectively and the situation that it portrayed was horrifyingly believable. In the interval you were left saying that this 'now needs to go somewhere' and, indeed, it did. The consequences were explored, if surreally.
On a downside it felt under-directed. JM's speeches often lacked cadence. The 'flow' of the whole piece could have benefitted from a bit of punctuation and emphasis. The end just.....arrived. You almost felt as if the cast could have got together after DM had left town and sorted it out amongst themselves.
For me - an interesting and intriguing three and a half stars.