Tag Archives: Beau Jest

Theatre Review: Beau Jest

29 May

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

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Theatretrotting in May

4 May

Since I started going to the theatre on a regular basis, I now look forward every month in filling my diary with productions to watch. This month looks a bit busy with about 5 productions already booked. Now that’s probably not a lot for other avid theatregoers who probably go and see 3 or 4 productions per week, but I also have other things to do during the week, and I do get exhausted with all the late nights! And this new hobby of mine is not really cheap.

Now that I have discovered the joys of going to matinee performances which I did with Happy Now? last month it will allow me more flexibility on weekends, and then there’s Nicholas Hytner’s plans of having the National open 7 days a week now, which means even Sundays you can go to the theatre, just imagine all the productions to see!

But let’s focus on the now though Simone. So what am I going to see this month?

May 3 & 15- Major Barbara, Olivier, National Theatre

It’s my third (and then fourth!) time around and although I was supposed to watch it with my pal eddie who had to beg off because of her allergies, it didnt stop me from still going. I am bent on beating my record for the production I have seen the most number of times, with The Phantom of the Opera leading at 4 but it looks like there’s gonna be a tie soon, and about time too!

May 9- The Lady from the Sea, Arcola

It will be my 4th Ibsen production, and looking forward to be back at the Arcola again after last month’s brilliant An Enemy of the People.

May 12- The City, Royal Court Theatre

I have become a Hattie Morahan fan since the recent BBC version of Sense and Sensibility so I booked this from quite a while back. It will also be my first Katie Mitchell experience.

May 28- Beau Jest, Hackney Empire

A romantic comedy directed by Susie McKenna right in my local theatre. And you don’t have to be Jewish!

May 30- Pygmalion, Old Vic

It will be my 2nd George Bernard Shaw of this much raved about production that will set up camp at the Old Vic. Best way to end this merry month eh?