When the climax to Act One involves a slapstick shovel-on-head knockout blow, a suit splitting across the central character’s back, and Steven Berkoff finally making his entrance, heavily made up as Saddam Hussein, you know that there is no point staying for the second Act. Nothing can make up for the time which you have lost while enduring Act One. Death is far too close, whatever your age, to fritter time away on profitless theatrical misjudgment. Fleeing is wise.
Felicity Kendal is a triumph as the effervescent, self-indulgent diva that is Judith. Her throaty, raspy tones; the endless lighting and stubbing out of cigarettes; the casual, but persistent, flick of tousled curls; the innocent eyes and the naughty remark and the naughty remark and the innocent eyes; the devilment, the wild abandon, the sneaky confidence, the haughty indifference. Every aspect of the performance is beautifully judged by Kendal.
McIntosh’s achievement with the set is world class, and the magical sense of the way the set changes works beautifully to mirror the magic of a world where the future can be predicted by a six foot three and one half inches white rabbit called Harvey. Nigel Haft is luminous in his short scene, a twinkle of joy in his eye, an easy, laconic verve about him. Maureen Lipman is marvellously uptight as Veta, but not even Lipman can shoulder the burden of the play on her own, even in McIntosh’s splendid set and wearing the fabulous frocks he designed for her.
The Menier Chocolate Factory have today announced that they will stage the first London revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy thriller Communicating Doors from the 7th May to the 27 June 2015. A hired dominatrix flees for her life through a hotel communicating door only to find herself 20 years in the past…. Communicating Doors won Ayckbourn the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Best West End Play Award and the prestigious Molière Award in France. It was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy. Communicating Doors will be directed by Lindsay Posner. Casting will be announced shortly. For further information visit the Menier Chocolate Factory website.
It was announced today that the new production of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey will play a limited season at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket starting on 17th March 2015 following its tour. The play which stars James Dreyfus as Elwood P Dowd and Maureen Lipman as Veta Louise Simmons. Also in the cast are David Bamber as William R. Chumley, Desmond Barrit as Judge Omar Gaffney, Felicity Dean as Betty Chumley, Ingrid Oliver as Myrtle Mae Simmons, Amanda Boxer as Miss Ethel Chauvenet, Sally Scott as Nurse Ruth Kelly, Youssef Kerkour as Duane Wilson, Jack Hawkins as Lyman Sanderson and Linal Haft as E J Lofgren. Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family’s reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta takes him to see psychiatrist Dr William Chumley. But when the doctor mistakenly commits … Read more
James Dreyfus will star as Elwood P. Dowd in a new production of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey, which will open at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 6 February, running until 21 February, prior to a UK Tour and the West End. The production will be directed by Lindsay Posner. Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family’s reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta takes him to see psychiatrist Dr William Chumley. But when the doctor mistakenly commits anxiety-ridden Veta instead of her brother, it sets off an hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit. This new production of Harvey is produced by Don Gregory, who produced the play on Broadway in 2012 with Jim Parsons as Elwood P. Dowd. He also produced a television … Read more