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:

The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen, Almeida Theatre, 13 November 2010

We don’t book many classic revivals, but we tend to make an exception for Ibsen if it is a play one or both of us hasn’t seen before. Plus, if it is the Almeida, we tend to trust the place to deliver a classic well and with a modern enough feel.

As was the case with this superb production.

We were a little concerned that it might be a luvvie-fest for Gemma Arterton. But she proved well up to her task and the universally high-quality cast worked extremely well as an ensemble.

It was a well-pacey production; an-hour-and–three-quarters straight through, the extra pace worked well with this play. An object lesson for some of the ponderously long, drawn-out productions of early 20th century plays.

Here is a link to the Almeida resource for The Master Builder.

The reviews were pretty much universally good and most are linked through the above resource, but this search term – click here – should find reviews independently for you.

Six Degrees Of Separation, John Guare, The Old Vic, 16 January 2010

Around the time that we booked this play, I was writing the chapter of The Price of Fish, coincidentally Chapter Six, that explains the “shrinking world” theory known as six degrees of separation.

In theory, this play is all about that concept. In practice, I struggled at times to link this social comedy with the theory.

Without the futile search for intellectual insight, it was a reasonably fun evening at the theatre but a rather lightweight one. A super cast for this revival, but I’m not sure this play is worthy of a revival within 20 years, even though the world has/had changed between times.

Here is a link to The Old Vic resource on the production.

Here is a link to a search term that finds plenty of reviews, mostly indifferent ones. The consensus seemed to be that the production was excellent but the play somewhat lacking. Although neither Janie nor I had seen the play first time around, we thought that assessment was right.