BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S – Touring then West End

In London theatre, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland, Touring by Thom DibdinLeave a Comment

★★★★
Kings Theatre, Edinburgh – until 4 June 2016
Then touring ahead of the West End
Guest reviewer: Susan Lowes

There is charm and sparkle on the stage at Edinburgh’s Kings Theatre until Saturday, and that’s not just from the costume jewellery.

Curve Theatre Leicester brings the elegance and sophistication of Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to life. And true to the original is set in 1940s New York during the war. This adaptation, by Richard Greenberg, differs to the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn. While Breakfast at Tiffany’s is always going to be about Miss Holly Golightly, this has a different focus, casting the limelight on the unnamed New York writer who narrates it.

This story is all about his friendship – and mild obsession – with his neighbour. The story begins with a possible sighting of Holly Golightly in Africa after a long disappearance, sparking the writer’s recollections of the time he spent with her in New York.

And the result is rather interesting. The punchy rat-a-tat-tat newspaper-speak dialogue that pervades throughout, clearly evidences his telling of the tale. They say there’s always three sides to a story – his, hers and the actual truth. This is his, the way he remembers it, and the way he’s chosen to retell it. It’s very cleverly done indeed.

As with any good storyteller, he gives his characters dimensions. The less well-known characters get more attention than they once might have done. People’s interests, aspirations and motivations are explored – and not just Holly’s.

Holly herself is played expertly by Emily Atack (known mostly from her roles in The Inbetweeners and Dad’s Army). She’s all glamour and charm and sophistication. There’s no trace of Hepburn’s naive Holly; Atack’s Holly knows what she’s doing. That’s not to say that she’s not fragile or vulnerable, or even lost (to a point) – but, importantly, it does make her more relatable.

Holly Golightly is supposed to make girls want to be her and make men want to be with her. Atack’s Holly achieves exactly this – it’s impossible not to copy her turn of speech and tone after the curtain comes down.

Matt Barber, or Atticus Aldridge as Downton fans know him, complements Atack as the writer/storyteller. Holly calls him Fred, never asking him his real name. Appearing suave and self-assured at first, as he delves into his memories of himself, we see a more naive and hesitant side to his character.

His friendship with Holly has clearly influenced his life. He looks back on his memories with a sense of warmth and playfulness. His obsession still lingering in the back of his mind, but it’s as though he’s realised that he could never cage her.

Smooth is the only way to describe this production. Matthew Wright’s amazingly intricate and interactive sets glide into and out of each other, the sultry saxophone playing in the background, Atack’s soft, lilting yet powerful songs.

Director Nikolai Foster has created a sophisticated new insight into old characters. Instead at sitting at odds though, it complements the 1961 film version well – as another side of the classic tale.

Running time: 2 hours 30 mins (including interval)
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street, EH3 9LQ
Monday 30 May – Saturday 4 June 2016.
Daily 7.30pm; Matinee Saturday 2.30pm
Tickets from: www.edtheatres.com/breakfast
Tour website: http://breakfastattiffanys.co.uk/

Buy the novella or film on Amazon:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s on tour 2016:

30 May – 4 Jun:
Emily Atack
Edinburgh
King’s Theatre
0131 529 6000
Book online

6 – 11 Jun:
Emily Atack
High Wycombe
Wycombe Swan
01494 512 000
Book online

13 – 18 Jun:
Pixie Lott
Dublin
Bord Gais Theatre
0844 847 2455
Book online

20 – 25 Jun:
Pixie Lott
Plymouth
Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222
Book online

30 Jun – 17 Sept:
Pixie Lott
London
Theatre Royal Haymarket
020 7930 8800
Book online

19 – 24 Sep
Milton Keynes**
Milton Keynes Theatre
0844 871 7652
Book online

26 Sept – 1 Oct
Bristol**
Hippodrome
0844 871 3012
Book online

10 – 15 Oct
Malvern
Festival Theatre
01684 892277
Book online

17 – 22 Oct
Sheffield
Lyceum Theatre
0114 249 6000
On Sale Soon

31 Oct – 5 Nov
Belfast
Grand Opera House
028 9024 1919
Book online

7 – 12 Nov
Cardiff
New Theatre
029 2087 8889
Book online

14 – 19 Nov
Norwich
Theatre Royal
01603 630000
Book online

ENDS

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Thom Dibdin
Thom Dibdin has been reviewing and writing about theatre in Scotland since the last millennium. He is currently Scotland Correspondent for The Stage newspaper. In 2010, he founded AllEdinburghTheatre.com. The city's only dedicated theatre website, it covers all Edinburgh theatre year-round - and all theatre made in Edinburgh during EdFringe. Thom is passionate about quality in theatre criticism and is a member of the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. He tweets from @AllEdinTheatre and, personally, from @ThomDibdin.
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Thom Dibdin on FacebookThom Dibdin on RssThom Dibdin on Twitter
Thom Dibdin
Thom Dibdin has been reviewing and writing about theatre in Scotland since the last millennium. He is currently Scotland Correspondent for The Stage newspaper. In 2010, he founded AllEdinburghTheatre.com. The city's only dedicated theatre website, it covers all Edinburgh theatre year-round - and all theatre made in Edinburgh during EdFringe. Thom is passionate about quality in theatre criticism and is a member of the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. He tweets from @AllEdinTheatre and, personally, from @ThomDibdin.

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