THEATRE / Notices : The Monster He Made Me - Finborough Arms, London SW10

Click to follow
Nothing is quite what it seems in Michael Butt's tantalising study of the psychology of Fascism. At first sight, it appears to be 1922 and Mussolini, planning the march on Rome, is introduced to a psychiatrist, whom he takes to be the playwright Pirandello (who indeed flirted with Fascism). But, perhaps, it's really September 1990 (an end of an era for Thatcher-watchers) and the so-called Mussolini is in fact a deluded ex-film star living in England, whose fantasies are being fed by a gaggle of actors anxious to avoid boosting Equity unemployment statistics. Or maybe all the events are merely a figment of Pirandello's overwrought theatrical imagination? Deftly juggling appearance and reality, Butt serves up a manically entertaining and intelligent mix of farce and psychodrama which only begins to flag in the second half by trying, unsuccessfully, to make links between Fascism and Thatcherism. Political navety aside, Butt's theatrical debut (he has previously written for radio) is dazzlingly adept and he is admirably served by Cathryn Horn's nimble production, Keith Orton's stylish design, and an impressive cast.

To 29 August (071-371 3842)

Comments