Adrian Lester, Katy Sullivan, Emily Barber and Jack Hunter will make their Hampstead Theatre debuts in the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living at the Hampstead Theatre – making it the 100th premiere since Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan took charge in 2010.
In that little wooden candlelit nest of magic and wonder that is the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Sam Yates directs a dreamy, fairytale-like Cymbeline. Originally written to be performed across the river at the Blackfriars playhouse (and now playing in that venue’s simulacrum), the play is a tragicomedy with heavy dark elements (jealousy, betrayal, poisoning, the list goes on) none of which appears to do much harm to this reassuring and family-friendly Globe production.
Shakespeare aside, is there any playwright more quotable than Oscar Wilde? And, of all his plays, is there any more quoted than his 1895 comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest? And of the famously feckless characters who populate this Wildely famous play, is there any who delivers more of those quotable quotes than Lady Bracknell?
No one wants to piss on Poirot’s chips, but this really isn’t very good.
David Suchet is a superb actor. Like Angela Lansbury if you set aside his television detective work he still has an impressive pedigree even if West End appearances have been rare. But no director casting a well-funded revival of The Importance of Being Earnest would think of Suchet for Lady Bracknell any sooner than they’d ask Lansbury to play King Lear, and there is a whiff of vanity project about the enterprise.