That over-used phrase 'left me weak with laughter' is perhaps an understatement for how I felt at the end of this evening. The cast were all great, but particularly Adrian Scarborough - who is just endlessly funny to watch - and of course Rhys Ifans who gives what surely must be one of the most frantic and energetic comedy performances I've ever witnessed. Terri Paddock's review is perhaps fair in that within all the traditional madcap farce there is a political agenda, and though with the arrival of the journalist (the only slightly lacklustre performance) some attempt is made to clarify this, resetting the context of the bombing into a more contemporary arena would have made this section less work. Crowds of schoolgirls obviously had a great time watching all the physical comedy, and there was some wonderfully subtle stuff from the trio of policemen too, especially the aforementioned AS. Highly recommended, if only to see Rhys Ifans - just thinking of his entrance as 'The Captain' makes me grin stupidly again! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
08 Apr 03
An excellent revival of this classic comedy, with a brilliant translation from Simon Nye.Great performances all round, particularly from the wonderfully versitile actor Paul Ritter and the brilliant Rhys Ifans. Robert Delamare directs with great skill. By Hamish Macdougall - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
02 Apr 03
A show that was hectic and funny thoughout, with excellent performances from R.I. and D.B. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
28 Mar 03
There's no doubt that the concept of an anarchist's death transfers uneasily to the modern British scene but the performances of the cast transcend this handicap. Rhys Evans is fantastic - his performance is a positive tour de force. He is ably backed up by a very good cast. We were particularly impressed by thr performance of Cornelius Booth as the Constable who had the part with the fewest lines, but his reactions and multitude of facial expressions kept us aching with laughter. Very well done everyone. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
19 Mar 03
A note to the previous poster. While we welcome people expressing a diversity of opinions via this facility on the site, I take issue with your suggestion that I've plagiarised the Donmar programme in my review of Accidental Death of an Anarchist. I have not 'lifted' material. There are four pages in the programme on the history of the play and the author. In my review, I start with one paragraph of background - in my own words - which is hardly unusual in reviewing a production and which, in this case, I felt was highly pertinent. Kind regards, Terri Paddock - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
10 Mar 03
I think Terri Paddock's review is rubbish - although 10 out of 10 for lifting so much of the summary from the theatre's own programme. Always best to cover your own lack of creativity by pinching somebody else's ideas. However - on to the play. This is quite a difficult piece because the "message" is on so many levels and yes, sitting through nearly 3 hours of farce can become a test of physical endurance, but I thought the ensemble acting was excellent and Ifan's performance astonishing. To cover the range or characters, volume of script and complexity of ideas whilst still being completely comprehensible to an audience that included blue rinsed theatre groupies, drama students and American tourists should be worthy of praise. At a time when so much West End theatre is banal the Donmar should be commended for re-presenting this modern classic in a format which challenges and entertains. Loved the bomb at the end of the play - hated this website's review. Shame on you. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
07 Mar 03
I thought this was a brilliant version of Fo's farce. I felt all the characters were strong except the Journalist. She needed a bit more umph about her character with all those brilliant males around her.. The constable was absolutely amazing; especially his constant facial expressions,always remaining in character. Rhys Ifans was also brilliant but then that was expected. Made good use of the new translation with the different accents.
I liked the updated script and can't understand why the Times was so snotty about it; Fo wanted his plays to be updated, it makes them more relevant.
Overall, excellant performances by all! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
01 Mar 03
Completely agree, Job. The partial transposition worked well and, whilst retaining its satirical edge, it was quite simply very funny. It's one of those productions which is immensely helped by having a receptive audience, though - the night we went most people were in stitches. And wonderful to see Des Barrit again - he's just as brilliant playing the only half-way intelligent cop in this as he was playing Falstaff for the RSC in Henry IV last year. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
28 Feb 03
Entertaining throughout, with only one weak performance (from 'the Journalist') and a whole raft of comic delights. I'm not a great fan of unnecessary updates (witness Pilot Theatre's ill-advised Blairisation of Jim Cartwright's 'Road') but here the transposition from seventies Italy to contemporary Britain tapped effectively into the audience's collective unease about the morality of our boys in blue.
Rhys Ifans gave a tour de force as the Maniac, but his three stooges (Superintendent, Inspector and Constable) had the best laughs. They were brilliant. Commedia lives!
Job - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
28 Feb 03
Not my cup of tea,found it very lacklustre and quite boring and I was none the wiser at the end as to what the mess I had just witnessed was all about and Rhys Ifans was unaudable!!! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
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