However, I must point out that I have never in my life seen a serious play, am not keen on any violence and much prefer much more light-hearted stuff that gives me a smile on my face. I will also admit that I was there mainly to gawp and drool over one of the actors, Richard Armitage, which is a very shallow reason, but hey everyone has their reasons. I went there with no idea what the play was about, and the only expectation was to come away thinking ‘ooooooh I’ve seen RA topless and be entertained’.
The set is simplistic, the choreography is fluid, and the actors very much got into their roles. I jumped each time there was a bang, or there was violence. The hair grabbing made me wince a lot. In fact the girl in the beginning on the bed reminded me of my own daughter having a major tantrum. No offence to the actors, but when there was an argument, because I was so close to the action, it was all I could do not to get up and send them off to cool down. Not the sort of thing one does.
As for Richard, at first I thought “OMG its Richard” and squealed inside. As the play continued into the crescendo of the first part, all I could see was how knackered the poor bloke was. His voice raw, hoarse and it seemed at times he trouble swallowing. I heard once how actors sometimes suffer for their art and boy does he look wiped.
Onto the second part, mostly set in a courtroom. William Gaunt was amazing, and the chap that played the Judge, would make a fabulous Lord Vetinari (in discworld).
To be honest I felt like a duck out of water, a bit of a prat for jumping/wincing. I admit I went in the deep end of the ‘play’ scale without dipping my toes in first. It was a great performance, the actors were great, and I hope come September 14, Richard is somewhere being looked after, having a decent meal and plenty of tea!