Blancheblanche marvin's london theatreviews

recommended by Peter Brook
**** = stand if necessary
*** = sit in front stalls
** = sit in back stalls
* = have a drink!
director STEPHEN UNWIN decor ANNA FLEISCHIE music OLLY FOX with STEVEN PACEY adam amedeo, EMILY BRUNI nadine, PATRICK DRURY richard amedeo, JONJO O’NEILL jed, DENISE GOUGH mary
At last we are back to normal with a slick and well paced production by a professional company in a drama from New York which is a poor man’s imitation of Neil LaBute‘s The Shape of Things. It is not only unoriginal in its theme and story but there are no surprises or twists in the tale. A young couple Jed and Nadine are at breaking point. She’s an abstract painter and he’s a PhD, a doctor of philosoph, without a career or job. He finds one as a salesman in a multinational shoe shop selling Mercury trainers. The enterprise is owned by the Amedo brothers. Richard Amedo comes upon Jed’s application and decides to use his education on a new advertising campaign his brother Adam refuses to share. Adam is an art collector and is fed up with the business. Meanwhile, Jed has been hounded by Mary, a left-wing militant activist who shop-lifts the shoes to make exploding sneakers. Poor Jed in order not to be fired keeps paying for the shoes she steals. Mary scares him even further by setting up her quarters in the basement and seduces him. He goes along with the new advertising job only to discover that Nadine’s paintings have all been bought by Adam to be shown at his gallery and that she is having an affair with him. Adam drops a dead-weight Nadine and her paintings while Jed’s advertising campaign is a bust. Jed and Nadine will start over again with no other alternatives in sight so far. The coincidence of Richard and Adam tying up with Jed and Nadine is so contrived and all the slick action is not about consumerism or capitalism but is only about an ordinary boy meets girl, boy and girl break up, boy gets girl, a predictable formula love story. It’s all potatoes and no meat. The rectangular oyster grey set with a back wall of cubed lighted boxes is modern and efficient as a chair or desk or counter slides on and off stage all so chic with the short fragmented television scenes that offer no character progression but only plot. However, all the acting is first rate and well cast, the set impressive and the direction fast and furious. It’s boulevard theatre but nothing new to write home about. No export, but import only for a nonsense night out.
March 8 – April 7/07