Saturday 08 August 1998
Thanks to an elegantly witty translation by Jeremy Sams, Jean Marie- Besset's intriguing conversation piece lifts itself effortlessly above well-dressed intellectual plate-spinning. From the chic set to the smart script about sex, love and competition, everything about this is very French. It also boasts some excellent performances, especially from Jessica Turner as a voracious, no-lapels-no-mercy power-dresser. Beg for tickets - closes tonight.
Lyric Hammersmith, W6 (0181-741 2311)
THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD
David Mamet's brief but thoughtful slice of family life features a fine and funny Zoe Wanamaker and a wistful Colin Stinton. Patrick Marber's clear-eyed production allows the writing to shine forth.
Royal Court at the Duke of York's, WC2 (0171-565 5000)
CLOSER THAN EVER
Exit the puffed-up pretensions of many a full-blown musical and enter Maltby and Shire's witty series of songs about the perils and pleasures of urban life and love. Beverley Klein and Mark McKerracher shine, but Matthew White's sharp-eyed production ensures that all four performers, plus piano and bass, present this urbane material with considerable panache. Small is beautiful.
Jermyn Street Theatre, W1 (0171-287 2875)
Normally it's the women who steal the notices in musicals, but the men in Trevor Nunn's terrific production are simply sensational, whether acting, singing, dancing, or, in Jimmy Johnston's case, all of the above plus lassoing. Yes, I know it is not the greatest musical of all time, but watching this makes you believe it just might be.
National Theatre, SE1 (0171-452 3000)
Director Steven Pimlott has spun straw into gold. How on earth did he make such a daft book and third-rate score (and dire movie) into such a fun night out? Phillip Schofield is bouncy, the glorious Muppet animals steal your heart away and Mark Thompson's sensational designs take your breath away. Kids (and rather a lot of their accompanying adults) will have a damn good time.
The surprise hit of the season.
Labatt's Apollo, Hammersmith, W6 (0171-416 6022)
THE LONDON CUCKOLDS
Hi-jinks, low morals and plenty of good old-fashioned filth in this ludicrously enjoyable, bawdy Restoration comedy. Caroline Quentin and a terrific cast have a rollicking good time, as will you.
National Theatre, SE1 (0171-452 3000)
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