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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Theatre - Serenading Louie - Donmar Warehouse

Star rating – 3/10

I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times have failed to finish a book that I have started to read, or that I have walked out halfway through a film or play, but I am sorry to say that the thought of a catch up over beer and food with a friend was enough to tempt me away from the second half of this play. So I can only really review the first half – but honestly I think that should tell you all you need to know about this dreary play.

It is the UK premiere of a 1970’s play by Lanford Wilson, and I really can’t see why the Donmar have chosen to bring it to these shores now. It is the story of two couples and their discontent with their lives, but feels both very dated and very false. Alex is a successful lawyer and up and coming politician whose wife Gaby sounds like a woman on the edge of a breakdown. His friend Carl is an ex football player turned real estate developer, and his wife Mary is having an affair, which he is aware of, but can’t summon up the energy to do anything about.

And that is all I can really tell you, partly because I was not really interested enough in any of them to stay after the interval, and partly because the script felt so lacking that you didn’t really know much more about them , and cared even less. The acting was not particularly bad, featuring some clear talents such as Geraldine Somerville as the unfaithful Mary. They just didn’t have much to work with.

The men explored their inner emotions in a way that felt false, and just not what they would have done in the 1970’s or even today. The characters had several asides to the audience which felt all wrong. The set was a living room doubling up as the home of both couples, which did not work for me.

Sorry I can’t tell you more – just chalk this up as a rare miss for the Donmar and go to the nice Mexican restaurant nearby for a few beers and some enchiladas instead.

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