Page 1 of 1

Dick Barton - special agent.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:31 pm
by Barry
The Garrick, February 13th 2010

Well this was a fun evening, but I think I was underwhelmed as I had been hoping for something as inventive as the breathtaking 39 Steps currently touring and in the West End. I think the problem here, was not the very spirited performances, but the piece itself. I'm not sure what it was, simple as that. Was it a camp spoof, and if so I think that was a weakness as it was a pretty lightweight piece with none of the crucial detailed observation necessary - or was it a homage to the days of radio. well I don't know what it was - the references to the main character being in a radio show went nowhere. There was some acknowledgement of the cast having to double up , and fun from that but that was a bit half hearted. I did enjoy myself, and the cast were great fun, but it was all a bit saggy and unfocussed, whereas 39 Steps works on so many levels - as a true adventure, as a group of four actors having to play so many parts, as a real homage to some of Hitchcocks's(and Buchan's) mastery, and as a celebration of inventive physical theatre. This was fun, but I'm not sure that was enough, but the cast and production team worked their butts off but the piece was flimsy. There wasn't a strong enough concept or convention that guided it, but it was an entertaining night out. Perhaps if it had started as if we were watchign a recording of an episode with all the fun of making the sound effects, and swapping roles, and perhaps with someone missing or some personal drama adding to the tension of a live broadcast, and then we could have slolwly segued into a more theatrical presentation but still keepign the rough magic approach. Anyway, vivid and outrageously reworded bursts of opera and Gilbert and Sullivan and musicals suited happily me on a cold saturday night, especially when delivered so effortlessly by the rather amazing Laura.