It’s been running for 60 years and so I thought it was time that I made the pilgrimage to see the world’s longest running play. Especially as I’ve just been in the Tom Stoppard spoof if it, The Real Inspector Hound.
It is very much a play of its time (1952), but there is a certain charm and nostalgia in seeing a play that is assured of its place in theatrical history and isn’t trying to be anything but true to itself.
The cast give solid performances and make sure they don’t veer into the melodramatic or caricatures that it would be so easy for them to fall into. Stephen Yeo as the eccentric Christopher Wren and Zara Plessard as the tortured Mollie Ralston were the stand out performances for me. Whilst Michael Fenner gave a fine performance as the mysterious Mr Paravicini.
Due to the fact of its record-breaking run, it’s really something that anyone that is a theatre aficionado has to go and see. I’m glad I’ve gone to see it, it was nice to go along to a play which is a whodunit and exercise my mental faculties in working out who the murderer was. In many ways that’s what I enjoyed the most, it was refreshing to go to the theatre and see a play that is very different to what else is on, simply by the fact that it is a play from the past and a genre that is seldom written for the stage now. It was like being in a perpetual time capsule from the 50’s.
If like me you’ve had it on your list of “things I must get round to seeing”, I heartedly recommend you make the effort and go and see a piece of theatrical history in its diamond anniversary.
STARS : * * *