The Real Thing

ETT and the West Yorkshire Playhouse @ The Oxford Playhouse

Attending in my usual position of little to no knowledge of the production I was about to play audience to, (aside from banking on the ETT to furnish yet another masterpiece), we three headed out and attended a Tom Stoppard play, 29 June.

And happily, I was in no way having to defend my judgement. It was superb from start to finish  The script well-crafted and cleverly considered, the staging a terrific fit and the actors – truly talented individuals.

Additionally, it’s not often I find myself rooting for the couple whom get together when married to others…possibly never…though when the chemistry is this good and the sentiment overpowering, my internal desire to defend the constitution of marriage from outside forces, crumbled completely and I found myself desperately hoping that Henry and Annie’s relationship would work. The Casting was so perfect with a capital P.

I was even thrilled by the audience, for not only did they cross a good seven decades in the age stakes, pretty much everyone I peered upon looked knowledgeable, some kind of edgy, others definitely Observer readers – the kind of people I’d like to somehow (I’m working on it) ‘just bump into’, strike up a conversation with and talk plays, exhibitions and books. I’m sure that I could have learnt a lot from the crowd.

However, back to the best bit – the play. Mr Stoppard, I own up I haven’t seen many of your works, though now I’m definitely on the lookout.  You are a really gifted man. Thank you for sharing it.

And dear English Touring Theatre you can’t put a foot wrong. Bring on Friday, 5 October and The Sacred Flame.