Review Round-up: Old Vic Scores a High Speed Hit
In Speed-the-Plow, Gould and Fox engage in a verbal boxing match centred around the eternal debate of art versus money. Should Gould go for another bad blockbuster that will make his fortune or put himself on the line for an adaptation of a spiritual, apocalyptic novel offered to him by his beautiful secretary Karen?
The three-hander’s cast is completed by British musical theatre star Laura Michelle Kelly, who makes her play acting debut in the production, alongside Goldblum making his West End debut. The Old Vic production is directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell – whose most recent collaborations include Boeing-Boeing and The Lord of the Rings - with lighting by Paul Pyant.
It’s not often the first night critics unanimously agree on something, but this production of Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow is one of those rare occasions. Mainly down to Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum’s “high-octane acting”, the piece has received four-star rave reviews hailing it as “an absolute blast of a smash hit” and “infinitely better than the National premiere in 1989”. Together, the critics agree, Spacey and Goldblum create the “virtuoso double act” in Matthew Warchus’ “exhilarating” and “cracking” revival.
- by Tom Atkins