James Graham has turned his attention to national greed and our addiction to TV game shows for his latest factional stage play, Quiz, which opened last night on the Minerva stage at Chichester Festival Theatre.
“We in this country,” says the red judge grandly, “Do not have trial by media or by mobs”. Hmm. Tell that to anyone now staring confusedly at the wreckage of reputation and career because an employer’s took instant fright at a Twitterstorm.
Seeing the plays from different perspectives felt appropriate as that is the nature of Ayckbourn’s trilogy written in 1973. Three times we visit the same group of six characters over the same weekend but based in a different part of the house.
Sometimes a character exits to join another play, or comes in from a scene you will only see in the next show. The final part begins half an hour before the first and ends after them all, providing prequel and sequel by half an hour.
Ian McKellen immediately makes the intimate space his own, the dialogue almost conversational and his Lear a warm-hearted soul with a twinkle in his eye. This is surely as good as it gets, an actor using every bit of knowledge he has acquired in a storied career to make his role feel so natural.
Gavin Spokes stars as Charles Ingram, ‘the coughing major’, in James Graham’s new play Quiz, based on Ingram’s famous cheat on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Full cast is announced for the Chichester premiere.
“Alan Ayckbourn is brilliant at farce – people talking at cross purposes, mis-timed entrance and exits, slapstick encounters – but he also nails the desperation of these six people marooned in a crumbling country house.”
Hampstead Theatre has announced its first two productions for 2018: the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ “high finance comedy” Dry Powder and the Chichester Festival transfer of Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical Caroline, or Change, with Sharon D Clarke reprising her title role,