A new play by Wallace Shawn. How exciting.
We have long been a fan of Shawn; in my case dating back to seeing the film My Dinner With Andre hundreds of years ago.
Janie and I by chance got to chat with him at the Almeida when he was over for Miranda Richardson’s amazing performance as Aunt Dan in Aunt Dan and Lemon (to be Ogblogged in the fullness of time no doubt)…
…and I had seen him perform The Fever; Janie and I sat behind him at The Designated Mourner at the Cottesloe in 1996; all to be Ogblogged in time.
So here was a new Shawn play with Wallace Shawn himself and Miranda Richardson in it. Plus Andre Gregory directing it. Ahead of the piece we were a little starstruck – a rare emotion for us.
In truth, this piece didn’t hit the giddy heights of some of Shawn’s others. The notion of dystopia following scientific tinkering has (in my view) been overdone by others rather more than Shawn’s political and social frets.
- We don’t always agree with our friend, Michael Billington, but on this occasion, Billington’s piece in the Guardian comprehensively sums up how we felt about the piece;
- Charles Spencer in The Telegraph hated the whole thing, perhaps somewhat prudishly;
- Sarah Hemming in the FT liked the performances but hated the piece;
- Michael Coveney in The Independent got it and really liked it.
The play was more than three hours long, so I suspect we settled for a shawarma supper to take home. The evening certainly kept me and Janie in conversation for the rest of that evening and indeed the rest of the weekend.