Martin Shaw first appeared in Clifford Odets' The Country Girl at the Apollo Theatre in 1983 playing ambitious director Bernie Dodd, in a production which marked the beginning of Bill Kenwright's West End producing career. He now returns to the play, directed by Rufus Norris, playing alcoholic failed actor Frank Elgin given his final chance on stage.

A strange story of love, isolation and deception the play is a study in relationships - how they breakdown and reform, and the lies we tell each other and ourselves. Martin Shaw, Jenny Seagrove and Mark Letheren as the three principals carry this play along on the strength of their beautifully studied performances. Scott Pask has done a wonderful job of creating a set which is both open but perfectly contained and the set changes, incorporated as part of the play's theme of the play within a play, add interesting colour and pacing to the piece.

Following the performance the Whatsonstage.com theatregoers were treated to an informative (and longer than usual!) Q&A with the three principals. They told us about working on the piece and their own methods as actors, with Seagrove speaking particularly about the importance of trust on stage. We also learnt about the difficulties of getting accents just right and how distracting the audience can be espeically, Shaw added, on Broadway around Tony Award nomination time!

Please do feel free to email your comments and thoughts about the play, as well as any photos you have of the event and the evening through to [email protected], we love to hear from you.

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