Decline and Fall
From: Tuesday, 30th November 2010
To: Saturday, 29 January 2011
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Irreverent, chaotic and blisteringly funny, this is the first ever stage adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's first and without doubt most hilarious novel. A riotous mix of mistaken identity, marriage and murder. The perfect Christmas treat...
16 December 2010
It’s no mean feat turning a 224 page book into a pacey 2 hour play but Henry Filloux-Bennett’s sprightly version does just that. Through a mixture of knowing re-enactments, re-tellings and re-jigging Decline and Fall has been laced together cannily.
A chameleon cast shift from one character to another as our put-upon hero Paul Pennyfeather is pushed from pillar to post by a cavalcade of cartoon caricatures. It’s a clever whirlwind, with at one point Emily Murphy having to address and answer herself; it could have been disastrous but in this charming actress’ hands it’s a lovely moment. We are very aware this is a show we are watching; these are actors and this is a theatre dontcha know.
This works on the whole, but the ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudging’ means that each rolling of the eye or change of posture is performed to its zenith. Sometimes this drowns out Evelyn Waugh’s own delicately balance...
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