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The Entertainer

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Sunday 25 March 2007 6.50pm
I saw this at the Old Vic yesterday, and thought it was great. Be prepared for bleakness - the play visits Britain in 1956, and the strong theme is... end of the road, end of empire, tiredness, national self-doubt. And unpleasantness, this being John Osborne. But the play remains as sharp as a scalpel, and Robert Lindsay as the deadbeat self-knowing comic Archie Rice is just superb.

As this is the second Old Vic show I've recommended here this year, I'd better add: no connection etc.
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Monday 26 March 2007 8.42am
I saw this from the second row of the Dress Circle and got pretty hacked off as I could hardly hear a thing! Pam Ferris and John Normington got their words across (she was excellent) and so did Mr Lindsay when he was 'onstage' as Archie but not 'at home'. I don't like to 'get at' actors as years of experience lets you know they want to give a good performance but the girl playing the daughter (no offence, can't remember her name) was, for me, totally over-parted and a bit of a blank on stage. I got the impression they were going for a Young Vic rather than Old Vic performance.

Having said that, I thought the play survives well and is surprisingly topical so go but sit near the front.
Monday 26 March 2007 12.10pm
Saw this with my other 0.5 the other day: enjoyed it more than any of the other productions I've seen there recently (though I missed 12th Night).

Couldn't agree more with KMs comments about the Daughter, sad to say. Maybe we both went on the same bad night? But the rest of the production was excellent and I'd also recommend it highly.

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