Theatre Review: Complicit

20 Jan


Plot: Ben Kritzer (Dreyfuss) is a journalist facing a Grand Jury over an article he’s written about the US administration’s use of torture post 9/11. He faces the prospect of a lengthy jail sentence if he doesn’t reveal his source. -West End Whingers

Now, it has to be said that I love Richard Dreyfuss. I thought he was briiliant in The Goodbye Girl, Always, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, just to mention a few of his noteworthy film projects. Ditto for Elizabeth McGovern whose films I grew up watching in the late 80’s like He Said She Said and She’s Having a Baby. And what about David Suchet, who doesnt love him as Poirot? So with all these seemingly good actors and with Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey, who’s an equally good actor/director at the helm of Complicit, then why didnt the play live up to its expectations?

I will not even say a lot about the first half of the play, let’s fast forward to the time the interval came, where our contingent was feeling half-hearted about it all. There was quite a lot of oohs and aahhs, loosely translated to not-quite-sure-yet-how-this-turns-out. When asked about how I felt about it so far, all I could say with all politeness was that, the moment hasnt quite arrived for I was sincerely hoping for it to improve by the second half. My companions for the evening were the West End Whingers with other theatre enthusiasts like John, Paul, Oliver, Jorge, Brian, Helen and Sue. The WEW are actually quite notorious for making or breaking any production, and boy, this play is not really going to stand any chance, and not when you take out their Fram Scale. I absolutely share the Whingers sentiments about the play. I do think it was an interesting subject to tackle but there were a few things about it that just doesnt all add up that perhaps the playwright, Joe Sutton should tweak, maybe in time for opening night?

The evening didnt finish on a sour note as our party decided to drown our disappointment at the nearby seedy Da Vinci bar. I suppose this is one of those times when you would rather bring out the Merlot for it does cushion a lot of the torturous blow. Yes, pun intended.

Complicit: 2/5
Playing at the Old Vic until 21 February

*On another note, I went up to Amanda Root who was sitting in a row in front of us and told her how I admire her work, that I enjoyed seeing her in last year’s The Norman Conquests and that she is my favorite Anne Elliot for all time. She looked very pleased and was quite sincere in her appreciation.

4 Responses to “Theatre Review: Complicit”

  1. JohnyFox at 10:52 pm #

    Complicit is tripe. Wouldn’t even deserve a season at the Garrison Theatre, Guantamano Bay ! :-))

  2. Julia at 1:26 pm #

    Amanda Root’s Anne Elliot is one of my very favourite performances ever. She’s truly wonderful.

  3. Ross at 1:35 pm #

    I feel the worst thing about it was, uncharacteristically, the laziness of the actors. Dreyfuss wore n ear piece throughout to prompt him on his lines, and cues were sloppy. Totally unlike the actors, whose work I admire greatly.

  4. feignedmischief at 11:44 pm #

    @John: We had a good time afterwards though, that’s the main thing!

    @Julia: I agree with you there, she really made you feel that she was Anne Eliiot. I just had to come up to her, and inteestingly in mid-Feb I am watching Ciaran Hinds (Captain Wentworth) in Burnt by the Sun at the NT! You prolly know this already but if you visit the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, they play this video which Amanda Root stars in.

    @Ross: Let’s hope by the time they open tomorrow the earpiece is gone!

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