THEATRE / Vincent - Man in the Moon, London SW3

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The Independent Culture
Leonard Nimoy (yes, that Leonard Nimoy) has adapted this one-man piece from Phillip Stevens's Van Gogh. It is the story of Vincent's life, as told by his brother Theo. Theo is a man who is both exasperated and excited by his unstable brother, but the overwhelming emotion in Roger Ringold's moving performance is one of a patient, fraternal love. However vicious Vincent is in his attacks on his brother for failing to sell his paintings (a difficult task, considering that Vincent would not allow them to be exhibited), Theo remains loyal and supportive.

Vincent Van Gogh's life was a desperately sad journey towards suicide, by way of hopeless, unrequited loves, an over- zealous period in the Church, utter penury and self-imposed incarceration in an asylum. It's a gift to a dramatist, since it needs little embellishment. The play, though, is not all gloom and doom: Ringold infuses Theo's frustration with a fond mockery (perfectly pitched) that nevertheless convinces us of the depth of his brotherly love. By the time VincEent gets round to shooting himself, one feels both Theo's sadness and relief that an unhappy life has come to an end.

To 5 September (071-351 2876)

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