A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Thursday 25 August 2011
Poor James Boswell. After a triumphant London run and subsequent tour Russell Barr, who plays the irascible lexicographer's co-star and just about everyone else was taken ill. Luckily for the audience, David Beames tied on a pinny and played the ladies while Andrew Byatt read the sidekick's role from the script.
None of which distracted from Ian Redford's fine turn as Sam Johnson: mercurial and greedy, praising tea as if he was Tony Benn. But Trudie Styler, swapping her yoga pants for the scarlet crinoline of Mrs Hester Thrale, Johnson's amour fou, was less convincing.
An actress before she became Mrs Sting, saviour of the rainforest, Styler's Botox-faced gracious and flirtatiousness felt stagey and overblown in the small space. Without both Barr and Redford to carry her, she was left exposed.
As a result the ending, which should have been moving, was lumpy. It was saved by the dextrous Redford and one of the show's cleverest tropes: the use of Johnson's dictionary definitions threaded through the script.
To 28 August (0131 228 1404)
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 HSBC closes bank accounts belonging to Muslim clients in the UK
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
New film Old Fashioned is 50 Shades of Grey for Christians, claims its creator
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
R Kelly 'dropped' from Ohio music festival following backlash
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >