THEATRE / The Wax King - Man in the Moon, SW3

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The Independent Culture
Produced with more dash than cash, Phil Willmott's filleting of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy discards history and politics in favour of histrionics and personality. If you like your Shakespeare with plenty of racy narrative peopled by heroes and villains, then this is for you - a two-and-a-half-hour blockbuster of intrigue, revenge and dynastic struggle that wouldn't look out of place as a TV mini-series. There's even an above-average sex quotient with a seductive Suffolk and a Margaret who looks increasingly as if she's into S & M. Willmott's production is full of bright ideas - Margaret and Suffolk canoodle to the strains of 'Getting to Be a Habit With Me'; the carnage of the battle is played in vivid slow-motion; masks are used to sinister effect - but there are times when the direction just looks like showing off. Verse speaking is not the strongest point of some of the cast but there are some impressively thought out characterisations and for all its failings the entire enterprise is fired by such a cheeky vitality that one can't help but enjoy it.

To 24 Oct (071-351 2876)