OFF WEST END / Hanging by a thread
There are resonant moments - a great sweep of red curtain advances slowly towards the audience from the other end of the huge building, while our heroine, Jennifer Potter, strolls purposefully along in front - but too often Deborah Levy's fragmented text, full of allusions to Marilyn, Elvis and The Wizard of Oz, sinks into banality and / or incomprehensibility. The theme is seems to be the alienation of urban youth; but it doesn't so much explore it as inflict it.
Urban youth also get fairly alienated in Thomas Kett's comedy Acid Hearts, at the Finborough, though here there's at least a whiff of idealism, some sense that redemption is possible. Thuggish Trevor goes out to work while his weak-minded brother Frankie festers in their tiny, squalid flat; in the evening Trevor bores him with involved, boasting yarns about unlikely sexual adventures. This cosy set-up is disrupted by Ellen, an assertive, upwardly mobile young secretary who lives across the hall. She befriends Frankie, and boosts his confidence; and when Ellen buys her own place she takes him along.
Kett doesn't show a light touch with irony (when, in the opening scene, Trevor talks about how much Frankie needs him, you can already guess at the role reversal ahead), and the plot strains credibility. But the gradual revelation of the layers of dysfunction in the brothers' relationship is well handled, and Richard Georgeson's production manages some impressive transformations - the set shifts ingeniously from horrible Deptford to light and airy Finchley, Kieron Forsyth's Frankie moves plausibly from limp- haired, boneless geek into presentable young entrepreneur. Also, it made me laugh quite a lot.
The same can't be said of Waiting for Godot, at the Lyric Studio, despite Nadim Sawalha and Kevork Malikyan's Laurel-and-Hardy Vladimir and Estragon. They both ooze charm; but they're also too ingratiating for pathos, and at times oddly uncomfortable with their lines. Anthony Lamble's set, placing the action in a Levantine desert, is pleasingly spare. Unfortunately, Lisa Dorrell's direction is annoyingly cluttered so that it seems a much longer play than it used to be.
'Shiny Nylon', to Saturday, S- Shed, Royal Victoria Docks, E14 (071-379 9700). 'Acid Hearts', to 12 March, The Finborough, SW1 (071- 373 3842). 'Waiting for Godot', to 5 March, Lyric Studio, Hammersmith W6 (081-741 8701).
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Downton Abbey fans outraged at Kindle sponsorship adverts
Downton Abbey series 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave drama after a decade of crime-solving
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'