Plot: When Sarah Goldman (Lara Pulver), a lovely young school teacher wants to please her parents, she invents a boyfriend that she believes will be the man of her mother’s dreams. When her parents insist on meeting the man, Sarah hires Bob (Adam Rayner), an actor, to pretend to be her “beau”. Although the plan works flawlessly for a time, a combination of some hilarious situations lead to their lives being irrevocably changed.
I was quite keen on watching this production mainly because Susie McKenna is directing it, as I was impressed with her work in Dick Whittington and His Cat, one of the Empire’s pantomime hits. To being with, I got there just when it was about to start and I was quite disappointed when I was ushered in to find out that the theatre wasnt even half full, there were just about 15 of us in the Dress Circle and i didnt think the stall section was full either. This was quite the opposite with what the guy who took my order told me, as he said there were only a few seats left in the Dress Circle, I suppose if I had known otherwise, that the Upper Circle and Balcony were not being filled, it would put me off seeing the play altogether.
The play didn’t really do anything for me full stop. I know it’s not meant to be deep, or that it had to provoke a discussion or anything but entertainment value wise, when you just want to come out of the theatre feeling satisfied or even slightly entertained, but this one didnt cut it even for just that reason. I heard this off-Broadway production written by James Sherman packed the crowds for 2 years during its run, but perhaps the Times was right when it said it wouldnt quite be the same phenomenon over here. I quite enjoyed the performances of the actors but it wasnt a good enough reason to actually care for the play. It had been a forgettable evening and all I really longed for was to go home straightaway- this was one of the times living close to the Empire proved to be a real blessing.
Beau Jest: 2/5