Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Unreachable | Royal Court Theatre

On Monday I took my first trip to the Royal Court theatre in London to see Matt Smith and co in Unreachable, a new play written and directed by Anthony Neilson about a film director searching for the perfect light. I'd read some very interesting reviews and articles about the production process (the script was apparently not written until very late in the rehearsal process) and had really heard very little with regards to the plot so as I took my seat I really had no idea what to expect. Luckily I was in fits of laughter throughout and had a very interesting night at the theatre.

With only six cast members in a two hour show, each actor had plenty of time in the spotlight. Matt Smith suited the role of chaotic film directer Maxim perfectly with his frantic line delivery and hectic pacing around the stage. However there were some really tender and moving moments in his performance too which showed me that as an actor he is so much more than "that guy from Doctor Who". Another standout performance came from Jonjo O'Neill as Ivan. I've seen O'Neill in a couple of productions before but this was something completely different. He was hilariously melodramatic and delivered his lines with such comic conviction that at times his fellow cast members struggled to keep a straight face. The rest of the cast included Tamara Lawrence, Richard Pyros, Amanda Drew and Genevieve Barr, all of whom gave fantastic performances that I'm still replaying in my mind two days after seeing the show.

The use of a very minimal set (reflective screens, industrial crates and cases on wheels) as well as framing each scenes with an "act two scene five...action!" really created the atmosphere of a film set which worked really well and the short snappy scenes kept the pace moving, which meant that the laughs came every few seconds. Despite the comedy there were some really poignant moments and is definitely a production that I won't forget. Add to this the very reasonably priced tickets (for each Monday performance tickets go on sale at 9am and every seat costs £10) and they've got themselves a show that I adored and would really recommend if you're looking for something different in the West End. Much as I'd love to, I don't think I'll get the chance to see the show again before it's run ends on the 6th of August but I get the feeling that, due to the rehearsal process, some improvisation went on and that the show would vary slightly each night. Definitely go and check it out if you get chance- you can find more details and tickets on the Royal Court website.


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