A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee, Almeida Theatre, 7 May 2011

A stellar cast for this Edward Albee revival.

Here is a link to the Almeida resource for this production.

Of course it was wonderfully well acted and the production was excellent, but I recall not being too enamoured of the play. It was quite long and wordy. I think you are supposed to feel trapped by the play, much as the characters are trapped in their circumstances.

On the whole the critics loved it – here is a search term that finds reviews and stuff.

I have also found an interesting vid that shows how the Almeida team transformed the place from The Knot Of The Heart into A Delicate Balance:

Serenading Louie by Lanford Wilson, Donmar Warehouse, 20 February 2010

We had been big fans of the Donmar for some while; sometimes bemoaning the awkwardness of the place for parking/transport but on balance feeling that it was worth it.

Serenading Louie was one of a few less impressive productions that started to put us off the place.

Of course it was well acted and well produced at the Donmar. But what a dud of a play. Why revive such a dull American play from the 1970s?

I think we stuck it out to the bitter end; I vaguely recall feeling that the second half was a mite better than the first half.

It didn’t get good reviews. This search term should find you plenty of reviews and stuff if you remain curious about it.

No doubt we supped on May’s Chinese food or Mohsen’s Persian. No doubt our moods needed lifting after a disappointing visit to the theatre.


Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan & Ian McDiarmid, Donmar Warehouse, 24 January 2009

We’re big fans of Ian McDiarmid. We think he worked wonders running the Almeida with Jonathan Kent and he is a fine actor to boot. He is also a nodding acquaintance of mine in Notting Hill Gate (although, writing in April 2017, it is a while since I have seen him around).

But in truth I don’t think this play/production did much for us. It all felt a bit grim. It sounded like it might be a bit like a Bergman movie, but ended up a rather drab stage equivalent.

The play/production is well described on Official London Theatre – click here.

No doubt this did well when National Theatre of Scotland took it touring north of the border.

No record of what we ate afterwards, but I’ll guess we went to May’s place (Shanghai Knightsbridge) to take away some yummy Chinese grub.


Waste by Harley Granville Barker, Almeida Theatre, 18 October 2008

This one turned out to be a bit of an Alleyn’s alum-fest, with Sam West directing and Nancy Carroll performing. But that won’t be the reason we booked it.

Janie and I have been Almeida members for donkeys yonks – indeed I have been going there fairly regularly since the late 1980s.

This looked like a cracking production on paper, so we’d have had no hesitation in booking it.

The Almeida is great on archiving its productions, so details of the production, some good pictures and extracts from the reviews are all there to be seen – saving me the trouble – click here.

We agree with all of that lot. It was a cracking production of a rather wordy play – Harley Granville Barker was a decent playwright but Ibsen or Strindberg he ain’t.

We were very glad to have picked this production. Seeing a lesser production of this play would have been a bit of a waste.