Tuesday, 22 January 2008

THOUGHTS: "The Lover/The Collection"

(Perhaps one of the worst reviews written for this site.)

Harold Pinter is popular again, with a constant presence over the past few months and more in sight for 2008. The West End’s newest revival, a pair of one-acts from the early 70’s, justify the boom: these plays are timeless, engaging, and entertaining.

The Lover and The Collection deal with issues surrounding infidelity: in the former, a couple are openly cheating on (or is it with?) each other. Through the inspired use of doubled casting, the duo expand into each others’ fantasies as passions and tempers flare. Meanwhile, the latter deals with truth and unreality: when the stories differ, change, and take on backings from alternative perspectives, who can say what really happened?

The casting in this production is spot on, with Richard Coyle (the infamous Jeff in Coupling) leading the first play and manipulating the second’s protagonist. Gina McKee has the least to do as the women, but shifts well in the first play from tired housewife to fiery lover. The sets are simple, but functional - these are not plays demanding high visual spectacle.

The Lover/The Collection provides an unorthodox yet humorous and imaginative look at modern love, one well worth taking in before it departs.

Where: Comedy Theatre
When: Limited Season, M-Sa @ 19:30, W/Sa @ 14:30
How Much: £20-£42.50
Concessions: Usual suspects can get day seats for £20
RZ Unofficial “Worth Paying”: £30. Entertaining and worthy of the audience’s money, but not life changing.
RZ Other Notes: This is really a review that should have been written within 24 hours of seeing the play and not four days later.

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