REVIEW: THE AGENT at the Old Red Lion, Islington

Three star rating The computer doesn t work, the assistant is off and the nerdish writer he s least interested in seeing turns up for an appointment he can t even remember making. The petty and the pedestrian im

THE AGENT

at the Old Red Lion, Islington

Three star rating

The computer doesn't work, the assistant is off and the 'nerdish writer' he's least interested in seeing turns up for an appointment he can't even remember making.


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The petty and the pedestrian impinge upon the life of high-flying Alexander with an irksome portentousness. As well it might, since there's more to Alexander's life than meets the eye and 'nerdish' Stephen knows exactly what it is. As the office closes in on this unlikely pair, all that is thought but never said between struggling writer and successful agent inches through the bounds of decorum when Stephen plays the card he's hidden up his sleeve. Marin Wagner puts the Great Unsaid fairly and squarely on the stage like the elephant in the room and it dances with dainty feet. Once the play's premise is established and the two are effectively trapped, the play goes up a gear. It holds throughout the second act and confounds our laughter with an unexpected final scene. Stephen Kennedy's perfectly underwhelmed and underwhelming writer absorbs the put downs with depressing ease. As the agent, Hamish Clark makes up for some fussy initial direction with a clean strong closing scene. The tastefully designed contemporary office squeezed into the tiny performance space might have been more fully used, otherwise this short, neatly constructed new work pleased its packed house well.

Until March 24.

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Rebecca Banks

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