Ecstasy by Mike Leigh, Hampstead Theatre, 18 March 2011

Oh dear.

Janie said she didn’t feel 100% when she turned up at the flat, but I didn’t think too much of it, not even when she ate little at Harry Morgan’s before the show.

But about 40 minutes into the first half, she said to me, “I don’t feel well, I have to go to the cloakroom…you stay here”.  So I sat out the first half, not really able to concentrate and dashed out as soon as I could, to find Janie sipping water and attentive staff letting me know that she seemed OK.

It was early in the run and Mike Leigh was there that evening. He kindly came up to us to ask if Janie was OK; I think he was relieved when he learned that she was merely poorly rather than someone who had walked out in shock or horror.

The play is strong stuff and it was a full-on production, but Janie is not the “fit of vapours at the sound of expletives” type.

The staff said we could of course go back in during scene breaks in Act Two if we wished, and/or watch the second act on the screen they use to monitor the show from outside, but frankly we simply wanted to wait until Janie felt well enough to go home and then go home.

I bought a copy of the play text so I could read and find out what happened afterwards.

Here is a link to a search term that finds the almost universally excellent reviews.

It is a real shame that we more or less missed out on it. Still, it could have been much worse. Janie’s indisposition turned out to be slight and temporary – we were back to the theatre the next night.