I’m not sure we were quite in the mood for a triple-bill of British Absurdist comedies. I’m not sure we’d have been in the mood for these plays even if we had been in a more appropriate mood.
Billed as being a precursor to Pythonesque comedy, the only python-like thing in the 1960s N.F. Simpson material was talk about a neighbours snake. His plays were certainly more English whimsy than European absurdism.
The Michael Frayn was a modern piece, but lesser Frayn in my view.
Great cast; it would probably seem worthwhile watching Peter Capaldi paint the ceiling. Douglas Hodge directed this production – he seems to have a good eye and ear for this sort of stuff. It’s just not really out sort of stuff.
The critics weren’t too sure either:
- Michael Billington – unsure here;
- Philip Fisher hated the Simpson but loved the Frayn;
- Dominic Cavendish pretty much loved the whole thing;
- Sarah Hemming – unsure here;
- Thumbs down from The Stage – here;
- I didn’t realise that the West End Whingers (who hated it) had been going this long – here.