The Prisoner of Second Avenue … a wisecracking Goldblum

When I went: Summer 2010

Music Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

Location: Adelphi Theatre, London

Performers: Jeff Goldblum (Mel Edison), Mercedes Ruhl (Edna), Linal Haft (brother)

Creative team: Neil Simon (playwright), Terry Johnson (director)

Approximate price: £45

Special points: Theme of breakdowns

Best bit: Goldblum’s wisecracking

If I could change one thing: More coherent plot


The play:

This Neil Simon play was the subject of a Warner Bros film in 1975 starring Jack Lemon, and requires a nuanced lead performance from the actor playing Mel Edison that provokes both sympathy and laughter from the audience. The story depicts a midlife crisis and breakdown and is a slow burner.

This performance:

Jeff Goldblum was on top form as Mel Edison with strong support from Mercedes Ruhl as Edna; their chemistry was obvious and they played well off each other’s responses throughout the performance. It was hard to ‘enjoy’ the whole thing due to some of the subject matter but it was undoubtedly well-directed and acted.

3 thoughts on “The Prisoner of Second Avenue … a wisecracking Goldblum

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