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Posts Tagged ‘Nina Toussaint-White’

It’s hard to believe Patrick Marber’s second original play is twenty-five years old. Apart from a brief appearance by a dated mobile phone, it could be now; indeed, it seems more now than then. It was also his last truly successful original play, though he went on the produce some excellent adaptations and to an auspicious career as a director. Anyway, this is a timely revival, even if it does feel like a new play.

Dan, Alice and Larry meet by accident. She has been in a minor accident which Dan observed. He takes her to hospital, where Larry, though in passing rather than as the relevant doctor, gets briefly involved. We shoot forward a year and Dan & Alice are in a relationship (he’s left his partner for her). He’s an obituary writer, wannabe novelist, and he’s written a book about Alice’s past as a stripper. Now we meet Anna, a photographer who is taking pictures for the book. Dan tries to date her.

There’s a brilliant scene where Larry and Dan posing as Anna meet in a chat room. This is followed by a meeting between Larry and the real Anna, who realises Dan has played a practical joke. All four meet at Dan’s book launch and from here it’s a complex web of relationships between them, love, infidelity and marriage, secrets and lies. None of them appear to have any moral compass. It was a touch long (on the hottest day ever with the Lyric Hammersmith’s air-con seemingly non-existent) but it’s a very clever piece with genuinely interesting characters. It draws you in to the point where you can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next.

Clare Lizzimore’s production is edgy with a totally contemporary feel. She’s added atmospheric live music by Arun Gsosh plus four ‘extras’ posing in the background ( though I didn’t really see the point of this. The cast are simply terrific. Sam Troughton is loud and passionate as Larry, contrasting with Jack Farthing’s quiet and sultry Dan. Nina Toussaint-White plays Anna as very anchored, in command of her own destiny, whilst Ella Hunt is mesmerising as the waif-like Alice.

Great to see it again and to see how it resonates as much, if not more, today. I think that might be the sign of a classic.

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