Wednesday, August 05, 2009

'Man of the Moment' by Alan Ayckbourn

5 August 2009

We were back at the Royal Theatre in Northampton on Saturday to see the final play in the Royal's 'Ayckbourn at 70' season - the 1988 play 'Man of the Moment' directed by Alan Ayckbourn himself. 'Man of the Moment' is not often performed because it requires a fairly substantial swimming pool on stage. Chekhov famously said "if in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act" and surely any play featuring a swimming pool will inevitably involve someone falling into it: 'Man of the Moment' does not disappoint with a couple of hilarious comic set-pieces and some very wet actors! The play looks at the nature of celebrity and particularly our tendency to turn villains into celebrities (inspired in part by the Great Train Robbers). In 'Man of the Moment' a television crew are filming the reunion, after nearly thirty years, of a violent bank robber turned TV presenter and the have-a-go hero bank clerk who thwarted him. They meet at a villa in Spain in Ayckbourn's only play to date set in a foreign country. The framing device of the TV filming allows Ayckbourn to question the nature of truth and reality. Typically poignant but considerably less bleak than the other plays in the Northampton season, it was a really enjoyable evening and very funny with a great performance by Kim Wall as the unassuming Douglas Beechey.


Post a Comment

<< Home