Theatre Review: Speed the Plow

11 Feb

Plot: Charlie Fox (Kevin Spacey), a struggling producer, comes to his old mate Bobby Gould (Jeff Goldblum), a newly elevated studio boss, with a surefire commercial package: a prison movie combining “action, blood, a social theme”. But, as the two men get high on dreams of profit, Bobby asks his temporary secretary, Karen (Laura Michelle Kelly), to give a courtesy read to a novel by an “eastern cissy writer” about radiation and the prospect of human survival. Bobby’s aim is to bed Karen. But he finds himself converted by Karen’s faith in the book and tempted to greenlight it ahead of the prison project.

This is my second time to watch a preview performance and wasn’t sure really what to expect. I know I shouldnt really worry that much as I am quite certain that Spacey will deliver another knockout performance having seen him in Eugene O’ Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten two years ago. The addition of Jeff Goldblum in the cast is of course another reason why I am keen to see this production not to mention that it will be my first Mamet play.

What an evening! Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum were absolutely amazing! The verbal wordplay between them which is of course a Mamet legacy was definitely the highlight of the show. The level of energy was octane high in the first and final act but slightly dipped in the second. Spacey and Goldblum complimented each other’s great performances but not the same can be said to Miss Kelly, her voice and demeanour came across as not powerful enough, more whiny even, but she might improve in future performances. Speed the Plow if worth the ticket if you have to catch a play whilst in London town.

Speed the Plow: 4/5

Playing at The Old Vic until April 26

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