When I went: Summer 2010
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
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.
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.