Theatre Reviews: The Prisoner of Second Avenue

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The Independent Culture
The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London SW1 (0171-930 8800)

Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason (above) perform Neil Simon's 1971 hit with ruthless charm. The tireless flapping, palms-up gesticulation they use to embellish the relentless wisecracks might lead a Martian to deduce that they were primitive precursors of birds embarked on their first cack-handed efforts at flight. But then, the whole enterprise seems antique. When Mel comments "I don't need therapists, I need Lost and Found", you're inclined to cry out, "Baby, what you really need is a better dramatist".