Neil Austin’s lighting design in Rosmersholm at the Duke of York’s Theatre is a thing of beauty and Hayley Atwell is excellent but Ibsen is still Ibsen…
Giles Terera, Lucy Briers, Jake Fairbrother and Peter Wight have been cast alongside Tom Burke and Hayley Atwell in Henrik Ibsen’s Rosmersholm, adapted by Duncan Macmillan and directed by Ian Rickson, playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 24 April to 20 July 2019.
But this starry revival of The Birthday Party which has just opened at – where else? – the Harold Pinter Theatre – is immensely enjoyable – even if you occasionally lose the plot.
With its episode of a game of blind man’s bluff being both very funny and rather horrible, this is a Birthday Party for a generation brought up on The League of Gentlemen.
Andrew Scott’s interpretation of the Prince of Denmark is stylish, relevant and completely contemporary.
The scale of the intimate family drama that Robert Icke has fashioned from Shakespeare’s ever-present tragedy amplifies effectively, and Andrew Scott’s deeply conversational style still resonates strongly.
Andrew Scott’s take on Hamlet, in Robert Icke’s Almeida production that has just transferred to the West End, is a testament to the versatility of Shakespeare’s prose. With Benedict Cumberbatch, TV’s Sherlock, having been London’s last celebrity Hamlet, Scott’s (who played Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty) take on the role offers us a striking glimpse into the breadth of interpretation and intrigue that is offered by the Prince of Denmark.
This production will doubtless have its detractors – it’s not spoken precisely enough, it doesn’t smell of war enough, there are too many watches – but for me, it is as exciting and engaging as Hamlet gets. The best I’ve witnessed out of the 15 I’ve watched.