Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Mad House @ Ambassadors Theatre...

Last night I went to see the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s dark comedy, Mad House, at the Ambassadors Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

Starring David Harbour (him off of Stranger Things) and Bill Pullman (him off of Independence Day) the play is set in rural Pennsylvania and sees three siblings reunited and circling their dying father at the family home. Yes, all very Pinter, Miller, Tracey, Letts et al.

What sets it apart is the cast - all excellent - and the script - which is razor sharp.

Harbour plays one of the siblings - the play was actually written especially for him by Rebeck, with some of his character Michael’s mental health struggles reflecting those faced by the younger Harbour. The other siblings are Ned (the excellent Stephen Wight), evil Pam (deliciously played by Sinead Matthews), and Pullman plays the vile father.

Added to this, the play is truly set on fire by the outstanding performance by Ayika Henry as hospice nurse Lillian. The audience burst into a spontaneous round of applause at one point after one of her exits - pretty much unheard of in the West End.

Lillian is a complex, flawed character with a great back story, powerful motivations, and a great line in teeth-sucking.

A fab play - which when you add in a couple of hookers for an impromptu party at home, litter with secrets spilling out form the past, you know you are in for a treat.

Be warned though: the play contains discussion of death, mental illness and self-harm, suicide, transphobic and racist language, sexual content and swearing! You have been warned!

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