“I lay immobile, like a deadly alligator”
Although a regular home to The 39 Steps, the Criterion Theatre has been expanding its programme of theatrical events with interviews, critic panels and play readings taking place in the afternoon – the last of which I attended earlier this month. They also have a late night event, Stories Before Bedtime, which features readings of short stories from a variety of writers, loosely based around a theme. This was one was entitled ‘April Fools’ and included works from Martin Amis, Irvine Welsh and Tom Basden.
The big draw of the night was Andrew Scott, who delivered a highly energetic and nuanced performance of an excerpt from Martin Amis’ tale of adolescent shenanigans The Rachel Papers. Scott is such an engaging performer that one could imagine him reading anything to great effect, but he really was superb at capturing the gawky awkwardness and tortured travails of teenage sexuality and negotiating that oh so tricky task of talking to girls. With a wry warmth and a knowing humour, he brought huge personality and likeability to our protagonist and definitely made the evening worthwhile.