Hedda – must see production
This is a theatrical highlight of 2008.
The play is brilliant and Lucy Kirkwood adapts it excellently (I’m jealous, I didn’t do it – please someone call me next time (!!) I’d give it a good go…).
Carrie Cracknell directs with keenness. The physical relationships between the characters staged beautifully, concentrating the language and conflict.
The use of a second stage level, I thought was a superb idea. Designer (Holly Waddington) or director or whoever deserves plaudits. The set seemed to sit just right for the atmosphere, peeling layers of neglect, so much potential, needing love. Even, the humid claustrophobic night of the summer we are having, conspires to add to the electric, cloying environment.
The acting was, across the board, excellent and of the highest level. [On a personal note, it's fascinating to see how an actor changes and develops over the years. I remember - not that well - Alice Patten at Cambridge University (Queen's I think), and then in Vincent in Brixton].
Hedda (Cara Horgan) was sensual, vulnerable, manipulative, fragile and tough at each turn. Lots of beautiful leg and bare feet, yet appropriate and not gratuitous. A beautiful flower “rain dashed”
George (Tom Mison) in love with a girl, he can’t save; in awe of a man he can’t match – awkward but somehow still steering a mainly sincere and hopeful course
Thea (Alice Patten) a nervy rabbit, wanting to blossom into the woman she knows she could be. A woman Eli has allowed her to come.
Toby (Christopher Obi) – a smooth snake; a “lawyer at heart”
Eli (Adrian Bower) – perhaps Toby was right when he called him a make-believe; but “I don’t want to be that man but the things is that I also do… because it’s boring with him life is fucking dull that’s what nobody admits”
Julia (Cath Whitefield) – the “spinster”, elder sister / mother figure
And all the interlocking triangles these tangled loves and lovers make. All judged extremely well. A beautiful, heart rending mess.
I expect tickets will sell out fast although it may extend slightly or be transferred. Be quick.
At Gate Theatre, until 27 Sep
http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/ 020 7229 0706