This short Norwegian play ticked most if not all of our boxes, in theory.
Adapted by Simon Stephens, whom we very much admire. Two fine actors in Tom Brooke and Jack Laskey. An astonishing, watery set…
…yet somehow the piece failed to move us much. To us, it felt like a slight piece with ideas above its station.
The critics loved it – click here for a search term that provides links to all the right places.
You can see a vid clip if you click through this link from this production at the Festival Avignon.
Paul Taylor in The Independent – click here – claimed not to much like Jon Fosse but found this production one of the best things he’d ever seen.
We didn’t get that “extra something” from the experience, but what do we know?
There’s always something a bit weird about Arthur Schnitzler plays and this one was no exception. All very hedonistic and tragic.
Here is the officiallondontheatre.co.uk resource on this Young Vic production.
The Young Vic made a YouTube trailer for this production:
The cast were very good and the production was excellent.
Well received too – this search term – click here – finds many reviews – nearly all good.
There’s just something about fin-de-siecle Austrian plays that doesn’t quite float our boat, however well done they are.
Still, we were pleased to have seen this one – it was one of the best things we had seen so far that year…but then we were having a poor year for theatre up to that point.
Of course we hadn’t heard of Tarell Alvin McCraney when we booked this. We simply booked it because it sounded like an interesting play, which it was.
But at the time of writing this up (March 2017), Tarell Alvin McCraney is a topical name, because he wrote Moonlight, which won the best picture Oscar a few weeks ago. Go figure. Here is a link to a recent Young Vic blog piece recognising this achievement.
Official London Theatre has an excellent resource on the outline of this play/production from back then, saving me time & trouble – click here.
The Young Vic published an extensive resources document for students/teachers etc. this play/production – you can click it down – here – from this link.
Reviews were mixed:
I must say I concur with this view. I remember the production where the Young Vic was turned into a watery stage, but I couldn’t hand on heart have told you anything about it from memory, until after I flicked through the script just now.
Perhaps Janie’s memory will do better – I’ll test that a bit later but only report back if she surprises me with profound recall.
The Young Vic published a short vid showing how they made the watery stage happen – see below.
I started to keep a diary in January 1974. The 23 January entry is my first record of visiting the theatre, although I went with my parents to see pantomimes and children’s shows before then.
This visit I’m sure was my first school trip to the theatre, an Alleyn’s School outing. I think just for my class; 1S, probably Ian Sandbrook’s initiative. It was a revival of the first production at the Young Vic Theatre, which I think therefore makes it the Young Vic’s first production as an independent theatre company. It seems the revival was a precursor to a glittering US transfer.
All the 11 year old “critic” wrote at the time was:
“Scapino v good indeed. Jim Dale good. Got to bed very late.”
Yet the evening stays quite clearly in my memory. I remember liking the patter song about Italian food and I also recall catching a plastic facsimile of a glass of wine and keeping it in a bottom drawer for years and years. It survived many clear outs, but I think it came a cropper in the end. Who knows, it might turn up in one of my junk boxes some day.
This Michael Billington piece about that production and the early days of the independent Young Vic is charming, click here.
This archive review from the Columbia Daily Spectator was written only a couple of months after our visit. The late great Ian Charleson gets an honourable mention in this piece.