Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Review: Three Days in the Country, National Theatre

“You simply can’t just jump on the back of a cow!

8 months ago

Patrick Marber: Hi, can I speak to Rufus please
National Theatre: Who is this?
PM: Patrick Marber
NT: Oh I remember you, you used to write plays…
PM: I still do. In fact I’ve got a new one I’d like you guys to put on, and an adaptation too
NT: Great news, we’ll put the new play on in the Dorfman, it’ll be fab
PM: And I’ve done an adaptation of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country too
NT: The new play will be fine thanks
PM: They’re a set. You have to take both.
NT: Ah they’re interlinked are they?
PM: No, I want you to accept both
NT: Oh…
PM: And I want to direct the Turgenev
NT: Riiight
PM: I’ve loads of great ideas. The actors can sit around the edges of the stage on chairs, and the stagehands will be visible.
NT: It sounds a bit Brechtian
PM: No it’s my idea. It’s Marberish
Marberesque
Marberonian
NT: How Marbellous…
PM: And there’ll be a live pianist onstage too, all the way through.
NT: Won’t he get bored?
PM: No it’ll be fine. Honest.
NT: What’s it about?
PM: Rich bored nineteenth century Russians. He inspired Chekhov you know.
NT: You don’t say…
PM: But this is my version, it’s got a new title and everything – Three Days in the Country
NT: I see what you've done there. Any thoughts about design?
PM: Think IKEA showroom but weird.
NT: We can do that for sure
PM: I want raspberries, and kites too
NT: Sounds like it could be getting a bit expensive
PM: Oh don’t worry, Sonia Friedman Productions are on board
NT: Oh really? Why’s that then?
PM: All will be revealed in the future (I assume…)
NT: Is it a comedy?
PM: I’m not sure, we’ll have to see. And you know what NT audiences are like, they’ll laugh at anything if they’re in a good mood.
NT: We’ll cast it with people like Mark Gatiss and John Simm so they’ll just be grateful
PM: Sounds like a plan. And get someone good in there too, like Amanda Drew, she’ll be able to get the first act through its weaker moments.
NT: Good idea.
PM: I’ve got a theatre blogger friend who’ll appreciate #sexyOberon in a beard in there too
NT: #sexyOberon?
PM: Yes, #sexyOberon
NT: Ok then, we’ll have Rufus give you a call back.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 21st October
NB: I was inspired by an earlier review in a similar format but for the life of me I can't remember who did it or what about so credit will have to remain vague


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed we were VERY impressed with Royce Pierreson and Amanda Drew was wonderful. You forgot to mention Nigel Bett's stick trick which I hope he leaves in. We had hearty chuckles with Debra Gillett and Nigel Bishop and their situations. Well we've all been there. Our woman of the match goes to Cherrelle Skeete. Wow! What an incredible voice. Did I mention you also forgot to mention the rain? We liked seeing the Actors continuing to display their skills even when standing or sitting still. There is something Abramovic about it. Artists imitating life imitating art imitating life. It reminds us that it is in fact a skill to master and very well done too. We were treated to all sorts of attention to fine detail with handkerchiefs, parasols, footstools, Cain and indoor kite flying. All done with extravagant charm and finesse. We agree John Simm was awesome as usual. Mastery! It had to be said and yes there was a Master Doctor pun slipped in there too. Did we also mention you forgot to mention the costumes. They were gorgeous! So was Mark Gatiss with his lovely voice and looking dapper and lithe and about twenty years younger than on film. Shpigelsky's back problem, the proposal of sorts and some spoken Russian were delightful. The thing that came out most for us was the passion that came across from the whole ensemble. We loved it just as you said we would. <3