REVIEW: INVITATION TO A BEHEADING The Lion and Unicorn Theatre Kentish Town
Three star rating Act Provocateur, Victor Sobchek s production group, prides itself on being an international company. But Vladimir Nabokov s play is not the easiest to follow and
REVIEW: INVITATION TO A BEHEADING
The Lion and Unicorn Theatre
three star rating
Act Provocateur, Victor Sobchek's production group, prides itself on being an international company.
But Vladimir Nabokov's play is not the easiest to follow and the director puts an obstacle in the way by having the first few vital lines spoken by an actor with a foreign accent so strong that it is difficult for the audience to pick up on what he's saying.
- 1 Barnet: Three arrested as victim of fatal stabbing named
- 2 Spurs survive 'Lasagna-gate 2' and it's over to Arsenal
- 3 Man in his 30s stabbed to death
- 4 West Hampstead woman's kids' clothes success story
- 5 Motorcyclist injured in Highgate Hill collision
- 6 St John's Wood nursery 'requires improvement' after surprise Ofsted visit
- 7 Hampstead pharmacy under investigation over extra charges for prescriptions
- 8 'The law isn't important to us': Car tyres deflated by activists in Camden
- 9 Court: Disciplinary rules not followed in 'unfair' sacking, lawyer suggests
- 10 Beloved father choked to death on cauliflower after Highgate Care Home 'neglect'
This sets the play off on the wrong foot and the laughs - of which there are plenty - are slow in coming.
The accent of this actor takes some time to tune into but, when one does, it is certainly worth it. It's just a shame that it creates such a slow start to the proceedings.
Cincinnatus is in jail, awaiting execution for a crime he knows nothing about. Neither, it seems, do any of the people surrounding him.
They are all jolly, enjoying his predicament as if it were some kind of joke, or maybe a game, where everybody knows the rules except him.
He is resigned to his fate. All he wants to know is when the execution is going to take place. But no-one is about to tell him, treating it as a childish question not worthy of a reply.
It is the well-known theme of the outsider, the one who doesn't fit in, cannot tell reality from fantasy, believing everyone else is having a great party to which he is not invited.
This nightmare is played out in front of him involving, among others, his oversexed wife, his jovial defence counsel, a Lolita-style little girl and the friends who visit him and look forward to his execution with real excitement.
George Xander is particularly good at playing this hangdog kind of role. His whole body expresses bewilderment and confusion.
While George Sallis is exceptional as Pierre, conman and joker, who does appalling magic tricks and wins games of chess by applying his own rules.
Daren-Luc Kelly plays the disgusting Rodion disgustingly.
All in all, a fascinating play - once you get the hang of it!
Until August 3.