Monday, October 19, 2015

Not The Real Thing

Last night I attended Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" at the New Theatre Sydney. This is well acted, directed and good set, but is just not one of Stoppard's better plays. At more than two hours, this play would benefit from having 30 minutes, and perhaps two characters, cut from it. Now I know what my tutor was on about when they sent back an essay marked: "some brilliant ideas but others not relevant to the topic, needs to be edited down".

The Real Thing is about, well I am not exactly sure what it is about. A Stoppard play always takes work from the audience, with the same scene usually played several times from different perspectives. In this case there is a play within a play and scenes played over twice, once as the play and then the "real thing". But it all looked like a play to me (a play by a playwright about a playwright about actors being acted).

The acting was to the usual high standard of the Ne Theatre, the set a little sparse but having the right atmosphere, consumes excellent. Ainslie McGlynn is outstanding as the conflicted Annie. But this is a play which needs an English cast, of the people you usually see on Midsummer Murders, and doesn't really work in inner Sydney. This is David Williamson's Emerald City and Stoppard seems a little out of place here.

The Real Thing, is on at the New Theatre Sydney until 7 November 2015.

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