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)
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Glastonbury 2015 registration: How to get tickets for next year's festival
Kylie Minogue Kiss Me Once tour, London O2 - review: Pop princess still reigns supreme
Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican named highest-selling female comedians
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >