The four-hander stars veteran thespians Michael Gambon, David Bradley, Nick Dunning and, making his stage acting debut, Little Britain star David Walliams. Hirst (Gambon), a wealthy Hampstead aesthete meets a shabby and penniless poet, Spooner (Bradley), and invites him home for a late-night session of drinking and games, overseen by his henchmen, Briggs (Dunning) and Foster (Walliams).
No Man\'s Land premiered in 1975 at the National Theatre where the cast included John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. Its major London revivals since have included a 1992 Almeida production, which starred Pinter and transferred to the West End, and a 2001 production, directed by Pinter and starring Corin Redgrave and John Wood, back at the NT.
The “great Gambon” stole many of the plaudits in today’s newspapers, his “magnificent” and “compelling” portrayal of Hirst matched only by the “equally superb” work of David Bradley as Spooner. David Walliams didn’t fair quite so well, with some labelling him “technically stiff” and slightly “overwhelmed” by his first straight stage role. Overall, though, Rupert ‘midas-touch’ Goold appears to have done it again – with raves for his “metaphysical” take on No Man\'s Land following the recent ebullient reception of his other current West End offering, Six Characters in Search of an Author.
- by Theo Bosanquet