Theatre Review: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

16 Jan

Plot: A dissident (Millson) is locked up in an asylum. If he accepts that he was ill, has been treated and is now cured, he will be released. He refuses. Sharing his cell is a real lunatic, Ivanov (Jones), who believes himself to be surrounded by an orchestra. As the dissident’s son begs his father to free himself with a lie, Tom Stoppard’s darkly funny play asks if denying the truth is a price worth paying for liberty.

I haven’t been to the National Theatre since November, after seeing  August: Osage County so I was really looking forward to return and also because I am curious as to how this play for actors and orchestra will turn out. All I knew about the play was that Tom Stoppard wrote it in the 70’s with music provided for by then principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn.

I was already running late, no thanks to the traffic in Liverpool Street but managed to just get in right in time with minutes to spare. I was also meeting with Lynne, a fellow theatre trotter. I’m comfortably seated at dead center in the Olivier Circle and was already warming up to it just seeing the orchestra on stage – I wanted it to be good, I hoped that it would be good! So 65 minutes later, yes, the play didnt even take that long, what’s my verdict? I couldnt believe it! It was one of the best productions the National have staged – I’ve never seen anything like it before, ever! My seatmate, a really wondeful gentleman was still reeling with excitement after the experience, and if I may quote him, the subtle aggression was wonderfully played. The acting from Millson whom I already admired in his television performances and Toby Jones’ Ivanov was superb! What an evening!

EGBDF definitely hit all the right notes, so if you can, please dont miss this production and come away uplifted by the experience of a night of not just words, but music.

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour:
Playing at the Olivier, National Theatre until 25 February

One Response to “Theatre Review: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour”


  1. Theatre trotting in March « Feigned Mischief - March 2, 2009

    […] this play was decided after watching the National’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour with fellow theatre trotter Lynne back in January. Now almost at the end of its run and with […]

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