Where did you see it? Olivier, National Theatre
For a first preview I think I made more mistakes than the cast, for some inexplicable reason (tiredness? I do have a proper job and everything believe it or not) I thought E came before G in the alphabet (My name has no Fs in so I don't register it) and sat in the wrong seat for about 15 minutes before the beginning. Such a fool.
|Claudie Blakley (Adriana) and Lenny Henry (Antipholus of Syracuse)|
In terms of audience this preview seemed to attract the rudest, most ignorant people. Next to me were two Japanese tourists. I think they both found the language a bit difficult, it is Shakespeare after all, so spent the whole play playing with their phone. They ignored the usher, either out of rudeness or they didn't understand. Is that behaviour acceptable in any theatre or is it just us British that get a bit angsty over mobile phones in theatres? THEN I had the most annoying family (I say family they all called each other by their first names but I can so imagine hemp wearing modern families doing that) who didn't understand what was going (and were British and English speakers so no excuse) and had to keep explaining to each other what Lenny Henry was doing.
Now I am not blaming Lenny Henry for attracting those sorts of audiences. I doubt Lenny has a big Japanese following and the children were about 12 and 16, does anyone under 21 know who Lenny Henry is? The issue is maybe a National thing. Cheap tickets and the inability to throw people out mean rude audiences will occur but hopefully not too frequently.
The play itself? Fabulous. I only went because I hadn't been to the theatre for a couple of weeks and Entry Pass tickets were released for the early previews. I didn't have high expectations because it wasn't a play I was familiar with and whilst I had heard good things about Lenny Henry (who won the Evening Standard Best Newcomer award) but I wasn't that excited about it. The play is about two sets of twins, who become separated. Antipholus and and his Dromio of Syracuse set out to find their Ephesus counterparts and the confusion that arises from their arrival.
|Lucian Msamati (Dromio of Syracuse) and Lenny Henry (Antipholus of Syracuse)|