Monday, October 29, 2007

You Can't Take It With You

Money that is. It seems to be a subconscious theme of my chosen entertainment recently. Into The Woods was about escaping the norms of society and a similar thread runs through this Pulitzer prize American comedy.

Southwark Playhouse is the venue, under the arches of London Bridge train station, and 17 talented actors took to the stage in full 1930s costume to bring this classic to life.

The production team are to be commended for the bravery of dusting off a play not seen in a major production for 20 years. Their casting is also superb and each actor brings something fresh to each character. The comical ballet dancer had performed with the Royal Ballet, the Russian is an actor from Ukraine and the elderly father who was not only grey and balding, but fit enough to be thrown over the Russians back in an hilarious scene.

There were numerous moments where it was clear why the play was awarded the Pulitzer. Most of the comedy still works today. Among them was the drunk actress who says that she doesn't drink alcohol when on stage. She waits for the interval to do that. Or the girlfriend who liked the back of her boyfriends head when they first met, and got used to his face afterwards. The comedy timing and delivery was seamless and effortless.

I was pleasantly surprised with the play, the venue, the direction, the costumes, the set, and a talented cast. They fully deserved the 3 curtain calls.

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