Sher as Demetrios was so joyful to watch, some people have accused him of being over the top (a charge that has sometimes been true), but on this occasion I loved his mannerisms, he really captured the essence of the kind of man he was playing. Alex Ferns as the Lintwurm (also sort of narrating the story) very is good, his accent occasionally slips to just south of Glasgow rather than Pretoria, but other than that he give a very nice and slimy performance as the most simple and sometimes crude character in the play. Marius Weyers is perfect as the Prime Minister, he was just so spot on as the cold South African politician, and his way of speaking was totally political. The supporting characters are all good or competent, especially Jennifer Woodburne as the fussy Mrs Verwoerd.
I really enjoyed the evening; the whole play, and especially the last third of the play showing the assassination and the subsequent jailing and terrible mistreatment of Tsafendas who had been declared mad by the state (and subsequent release into a home by the Mandela Government to his death in 1999), gave me much to think about. I think Sher has done very well on his first outing as a playwright. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
19 Sep 03
My view is that this play was absolutely great. I found it gripping throughout, and thought that introducing the tape worm as a character was inspired. It's a dark, disturbing story peppered with humour which, whilst providing comic relief at intervals, never fully detracts from the dark undertones which are present throughout. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
17 Sep 03
This one is hard, it was of interest.
Not the best play ever but well staged and some great performances.
I felt I got a little bit more under modern SA history, which was good, than moved by the players on stage.
Will tour well overseas I think but not into the WE. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
10 Sep 03
Im sorry whats on stage but employ better critics, it is a crime that yours gave this wonderful play a mere three stars. I found this to be a fascinating experience, Shers historical acount of the assanation could have been a boring history lesson, but instead this is a wildly humerous and thoughtful play. To go with Shers wonderful writing, Nancy Meckler has created a brilliant production that is pacy, physical and exciting.Meckler adds a lot of glorius absurdism to the play. The acting is excellent particularly from Alex Ferns(showing there is an acting life after eastenders). However Antony Sher of course steals the shoe. He is surely one of the greatest actors ever and in this he gives another mesmerising performance. Sher is certainly the most engaging actor I have ever had the pleasure of watching. another great production for the new Almeida Theatre. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
10 Sep 03
Great subject matter, excellent performances, a clever spin on narration (the tapeworm) and good staging.........but I'm afraid the play lets it down. Somehow it doesn't hang together, doesn't flow and leaves you hungry for the play that might have been. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
10 Sep 03
I loved this production. It's amazingly acted, especially by Antony Sher and Alex Ferns, and touches the nerve - it's a little rough and unpolished and all the better for that. I really liked the changes of pace and tone from narrative to drama to absurd comedy, and disagree with the person who said that Sher should have stuck to the narrative - I think that would have been very dull. It made me think, feel and laugh (and cry at one point), and told a cracking story. Excellent. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
05 Sep 03
I don't think Sher could decide whether he was writing a comedy or a drama and this undermined the impact of the play. I wanted to tell him to cut out the clever stuff and just tell the story. However cast were excellent and it is a powerful story. It must be very difficult to direct a play which stars the playwright!
Allison - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
04 Sep 03
I went to the WOS outing last night and had a great evening. the play is intriguing though frustrating at points. such a bizarre story but it lacks real dramatic shape. Alex Ferns - as, believe it or not, a tapeworm - is very good. And it was fantastic to meet him, Antony Sher and other cast members afterwards to get their views. All in all, a very rewarding and memorable evening, though I couldn't recommend the play itself wholeheartedly. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
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