- April 25, 2019
David Mamet’s powerful play is not only a feat of writing but also a challenge to any company taking on his extraordinary script. The words come in an avalanche of beautifully crafted anger, arrogance, frustration and entitlement. In lesser hands it could easily become an unintelligible mess but not here with this fine cast of actors dealing with every word, every nuance and every angry interruption with ease.
Often described as a comedy, that is only a part of this piece, yes there are laughs, but they are not at the cold and bitter heart of this drama. Here the cast wring out every harsh truth, every moment of crashing disappointment, every vile and heartless breath of avarice and they do it with such conviction that the comedy sits well back, not lost but certainly not played for those pointed laughs.
The entire cast is superb, not a weal link on that stage, and it must be said that they play on one of the best crafted and thought out sets I have seen in some time. How wonderful that in the second half, when characters storm off they then have to traverse the full width of the stage in a glazed corridor.
Special mention has to go to Nigel Harman who gives a stunning performance as Ricky Roma, shamelessly ambitious and arrogant, willing to go too far to get his sale – at any cost – as long as it’s not his cost. Mark Benton is stunning as Shelly Levene, a floundering dinosaur of a realtor in a world of greedy young men changing the rules. His failures destroy him before your very eyes.
It’s once again wonderful to see theatre of this very high standard on the stage at Theatre Royal Brighton and once only wishes that there were the same mass audiences for real theatre as there are for “juke-box musicals”!
Theatre Royal Brighton