When I went: 16 March 2015
Location: Noel Coward Theatre, London
Performers: Eve Ponsonby (Viola de Lesseps), Orlando James (William Shakespeare), Edward Franklin (Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe), Neal Barry (Philip Henslowe), Nicholas Asbury (Lord Wessex)
Creative team: Film screenplay (Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman), play adaptation (Lee Hall), Declan Donnellan (director), Nick Ormerod (set designer)
Approximate price: £57
Special points: Old-fashioned humour, basis on film
Best bit: Bedroom farce scenes
If I could change one thing: Funnier
This is an adaptation of the successful 1998 film which bagged Gwyneth Paltrow an Oscar for Best Actress. I was never that big a fan of the film, but I do appreciate the humour and the treatment of a fascinating historical figure.
Unfortunately, for me this performance was almost devoid of genuine humour. Perhaps the writing doesn’t work as well for the stage, but I found myself willing the play to end, which almost never happens to me – I love most theatre productions. The chemistry between the leads felt lacking and unfortunately I didn’t feel that this production added anything that you couldn’t get from the film.