We go to the Hampstead Theatre to see a preview of Rabbit Hole at the Hampstead – production details from the wonderful Hampstead website are here.
This was another sad evening at the theatre, making it four out of four for us in January 2016. We are in the home of a couple a few months on from the tragic death of their infant son. The ever-excellent Claire Skinner plays the grieving mother. We also meet her husband, sister, mother and the young driver who ran over the child. All roles were played very well indeed. The multi-dimensional set (aren’t they all the rage these days?) was superb.
The piece won a Pulitzer when first produced and was made into a film in 2010 with Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckert and Diane Wiest. Neither of us have seen the film.
Presumably it has never been performed as a play in the UK. Edward Hall likes to seek out such lost gems and he might be on to a winner with this one (it has almost sold out its run in advance), although the relentlessly sad thread that runs throughout the play might mitigate against a West End transfer.
Ed Hall himself was in the audience our night. As indeed were John and Linda – a couple we regularly see at the theatre although we unusually hadn’t seen them for a while before tonight. It was nice to chat with them again during the interval.
Originally we were supposed to get Alison Steadman as the mother but she pulled out a couple of months ago and we had been told to expect Penny Downie instead. We think of her as Queen Zenobia, but we are reliably informed that she is officially now “Penny Downie of Downton Abbey”. In any case she played her irritating yet ultimately sympathetic role very well. I could imagine Alison Steadman doing it too.
Real reviews to follow – presumably the Hampstead link – here it is again will be updated with the more favourable of those.