Review – All About My Mother – The Old Vic

by

We were treated to this play as a hosting present from Janna tonight. She was excited about seeing Diana Rigby; I was very interested in seeing how a movie that had made me cry about six times translated to the stage. We had a bottle of wine between the three of us at Thai Silk (now around the corner under the railway arches) before the show; it seemed to slow us down and flatten us out. But maybe it wasn’t us. I felt – disconnected from the story all night. The scenes from other, great playwrights were uninspired when they should have been brilliant and sharp; how could Tennessee Williams NOT be great, unless you just didn’t care? The actress who played the junkie girlfriend seemed not to just be playing a bad actress but being one, and Dame Rigby – I swear she worked harder at posing than she did at actually getting across her character. I mean, she’s not freaking Gloria Swanson; she just can’t prowl around being herself and be that intrinsically interesting.

I just don’t get it. Was it the lack of closeups? I just felt like I was watching scenes, one after another, and none of the actors made me care about the story. So while it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen on stage, well, my time is precious and so should yours be, and thus I must once again pimp Venus as a Boy as THAT old, mangy man had me eating out of his hand, utterly convinced that he WAS a 22 year old male prostitute in Soho in the early 90s. The blond tranny prostitute around whom Manuela’s search rotated? I could not believe so many people ruining their lives for him no matter how much I stretched my imagination. (Mark Gattis was good, but he wasn’t supposed to be the most fun element of the show, I think.)

Anyway. Good company tonight and I’m glad we got to see it, but I am looking forward to seeing Mark Wheeldon tomorrow at Sadler’s Wells. As usual, there are discounted tickets available at the TKTS booth and we would be happy to see you there.

(This review is for a performance that took place on September 19th, 2007.)

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