ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London Review
The Little Dog Laughed
I think the fault lies not with the performances nor Jamie Lloyd’s direction but with the dominance of Diane in a script which feels like stand up. There is too little room for the other characters to develop because their style is cramped by the scenes from loud mouthed Lesbian agent Diane. More than just an agent, she seems to be many other things as well, investor, producer and publicist and of course control freak. The laughs are thick and fast when Greig is onstage and for many that will equate to a thoroughly good evening in the theatre but this reviewer prefers a play to tell a credible story.
Harry Lloyd is the most affecting character as Alex, the man subsidising his income as a male prostitute with whom his client Mitchell (Rupert Friend) falls in love. Gemma Arterton as Alex’s girlfriend Ellen has very little to do in the most insubstantial part, her character ending up a puppet with Diane pulling the strings. In fact you feel the only purpose of Ellen in the play is to accommodate a predictable ending. Rupert Friend for one with no previous stage experience makes a good job of his role as Mitchell the actor who dithers over whether to show the public his homosexuality but his sexual scenes with Alex are restrained and coy.
The set is very white, modern and distracting with a door six feet off the ground and a bed that disappears from the bedroom in a later scene but the music is loud and the lighting arresting. Tamsin Greig has a succession of very fine designer clothes in black and white which like the play provide a surface gloss.
For further plot details and the reviews of this play in New York in 2006 go here.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.