Maybe the ify reviews lowered my expectations. Maybe itís got better since those early performances. Maybe Iím more disposed to a bit of fun than those hard-nosed critics. Whatever it is, I rather enjoyed this! It must be my week for revisiting shows from c.20 years ago. The night before it was Stiles & Drewís Just So from 1990 and now this tongue-in-cheek Ken Hill adaptation of H G Wells which I first saw at the Theatre Royal Stratford in 1991. If you need a reason to go and see it , hereís two Ė Paul Kieveís terrific illusions and Maria Friedmanís ample bosom seemingly moving of its own free will when caressed by the invisible man! Ian Talbot has staged it as a show within a music hall show (I donít think the original was?) with a Good Old Days-style MC. Paul Farnsworthís designís are cartoonish and somehow it seems wholly in keeping with the show that they look as if they could collapse any minute! Itís a cross between slapstick, farce, vaudeville, cartoon and panto and I was smiling at the theatrical mix even when I wasnít laughing out loud at the silliness of it all. Itís an excellent cast who are clearly sending everything up and having a whole lot of fun at the same time. Itís infectious. Itís great to see Maria Friedman show off her exceptional comic talents (as well as her ample bosom!). Jo Stone-Ewings comic timing and physical acting is outstanding. Gary Wilmot does well as part narrator / part character Thomas Marvel. Christopher Godwinís been-there-done-that Wicksteed is a treat. It wonít change your life, but If youíre disposed to have a fun night out, you probably wonít leave disappointed Ė we didnít. - Gareth James
06 Jan 11
The Invisible Man is extremely difficult to categorise and equally hard to rate - at different times it ranged from one star to occasional moments of five star brilliance. It is a music hall pastiche of a sci fi / horror story featuring (deliberately) appalling acting and a play within a play construct borrowed from A Woman in Black with illusions replacing sound effects to fire the imagination. It comes as a surprise to find Maria Friedman appearing but she is in full Mrs. Lovett mode even if this is a million miles from Sondheim. Paul Kieves'illusions are the real star though, ranging from clever but slightly obvious to genuinely inexplicable. Three stars is about right for a couple of hours of udemanding fun but this is surely not destined for a life beyond Southwark. - David Baxter
03 Jan 11
It's not Ibsen - it's lively, entertaining and brilliant fun from start to finish. Excellent cast. Amazing illusions and a glorious, preposterous romp! - Norah
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