Bit from London: PASSION PLAY

by Lynn on July 3, 2013

in The Passionate Playgoer

July 2, 2013

 At the Duke of York’s, London. Written by Peter Nichols. Directed by David Leveaux. Set by Hildegard Bechtler. Costumes by Laura Hopkins. Lighting by Mark Henderson. Sound by Fergus O’Hare. Starring: Samantha Bond, Oliver Cotton, Annabel Scholey, Owen Teale, Sian Thomas, Zoë Wanamaker.

 Eleanor is long married to James. But trouble rears it’s beautiful head in the form of twenty-something Kate who has the hots for James. Never mind that she’s newly widowed from her common law middle aged husband. Never mind that she is friends with Eleanor and James. She wants James and the amount of time she pulls on his necktie over a secret lunch, you know she means business.

 He succumbs. He feels guilty. He is found out. Eleanor is hurt and furious. James can’t help himself. Lots of yelling and screaming and embarrassment except from Kate who is just a cold floozy. Eleanor and James are coached by their alter egos. It doesn’t work.

 Peter Nichols wrote this in the 1980s and I think other plays: Betrayal and The Real Thing cover the whole business of adultery and fidelity better than Passion Play. The fact that there is little passion and lots of lust might be one reason.

 The acting is terrific except for Annabel Scholey as Kate. She is one dimensional, not sexy enough, not alluring enough and not very interesting, which in turn diminishes the play.

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