The Information on `Plenty'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Jonathan Kent's revival of David Hare's 1978 play: a strident, satirical exploration of Britain's moral and political decline in the two decades after 1945.

Who's In It?

Bafta-winning Australian film actress Cate Blanchett (right) makes her stage debut as Susan Traherne, struggling to adapt to the post-war world following her heroic deeds for British Intelligence during the war. Blanchett has divided critics between those who feel she injects life into an outdated play and those who put her one-note performance down to hysterical exhibitionism. Julian Wadham gives a fine performance as the starchy embassy secretary Raymond Brock, whom she marries, while Richard Johnson is equally convincing as a put-upon diplomat.

What They Say About It

"The part of Susan badly defeats her [Blanchett]. Indeed, if Kent had gone into the project with the express intention of exposing the weaknesses of what now looks to be a severely overrated play, I don't see what more he could have done," Paul Taylor, The Independent.

"What I find puzzling about the current revival is Cate Blanchett's performance, which is so frenziedly neurotic as almost to forfeit one's sympathy. Jonathan Kent should have reined in this emotional energy," Michael Billington, The Guardian.

"Blanchett is sensational; I just wish the play was, too," Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph.

Where You Can See It

Albery Theatre, London WC2 (0171-369 1740) to 10 Jul