soft animals at Soho Theatre is a powerful piece of new writing that will break your heart – but then might just quietly put it back together again. Highly recommended.
Sideways The Play – St James Theatre Until 9th July
★★★” A good vintage of a production which I’m sure will improve even more with age”
American author Rex Pickett, who has also adapted his original novel for the stage and has been closely involved in this revised version for its European premiere, talked us through the long journey of his semi-autobiographical story’s from page to screen and stage and the trials and tribulations of being a writer in Los Angeles (which he’s long since left, though he still lives in California) at last night’s post-show Q&A, which was nearly as riotous as the no-holds-barred comedy performance that preceded it.
A struggling writer has an obsessive interest in wine. I don’t know anyone who could identify with that. When the movie Sideways came out in 2004, the lead character’s preference for Pinot Noir over Merlot actually shifted buying habits in the US and UK.
As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most divisive plays, critics and audiences seem to either love or hate it with little middle ground. It seems to be a favourite of Shakespeare’s Globe too, this being their third production in the last six years.
I arrived with high hopes, Blanche McIntyre’s Comedy of Errors last year was a sublime slapstick, but the jokes here are more subtle, coming from deft wordplay. Nonetheless McIntyre squeezes some great physical gags (and even a tap routine) into proceedings without overshadowing the zinging one-liners and rapid fire banter.