Mountain Hotel and Audience by Vaclav Havel, Orange Tree Theatre, 15 November 2008

This double bill was part of a Vaclav Havel Season that autumn at the Orange Tree.  We only attended this one evening.

Vaclav Havel is one of those writers that you really want to like and there are always some very clever lines and some interestingly weird scenes in his plays.  Yet somehow Havel never quite seems to work for me or for Janie.

Still, we enjoyed the evening.  The Mountain Hotel one was a typically Havel peculiar mix of people thrown together in a hotel garden being absurd together.  I think we even considered sneaking away a half time, but stayed to see what the second play was like.  Audience is a short quasi-autobiographical piece about Vanek, who works in an absurd beer factory.  It did not motivate us to return and see the other short Vanek plays later in the season.

It was all very well acted and well directed; David Antrobus is an Orange Tree regular and is reliably good.

You can read all about it, including who played whom and stuff, here.  Someone at the Orange Tree is doing an amazing archiving job; I am grateful to them.

Michael Billington, a long term Orange Tree fan, is polite but clearly didn’t much like the evening either.

Philip Fisher in the British Theatre Guide is more upbeat about the evening.

Ian Shuttleworth’s FT piece can still be seen archived here.

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