Gosh the London does great theatre brilliantly…
While your humble blogger loves Simon Gray’s Butley (1971), most critics would argue that Quartermaine’s Terms (1981) is a superior play – It opened at Wyndham’s Theatre on January 23 and is getting rave reviews for the writing, the direction and the cast. It’s funny, it’s poignant, it’s touching, it is brilliant.
For a moment, it looked as though the producer and director wanted caricature rather than character in the lead role by casting Rowan Atkinson but don’t let the thought of getting Mr Bean live cloud your judgment. What many people have taken for granted, myself included, was that Mr Bean was a bit of a joke character and was just good old Rowan was just having a bit of fun. Not so, it takes a very good actor to produce a comic character that is believable in it his total absurdity with underlying pathos.
Even though Quartermaine is a rather odd chap, there’s not too much Mr Bean in Atkinson’s portrayal. You’ll see him if you look, but you will also see Atkinson acting and you will see enough of St John Quartermaine to bring a few tears.
Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road until April 13.