BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S: Capote, Nottingham Playhouse till 14th May (touring)


BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S: Truman Capote (adapted Richard Greenberg).
Theatre Royal

Tkts 0115 989 5555
Runs: 2h 20m: one interval: till 14th May.
Performance times: 7.30pm, (Matinees 2.00pm Weds and 2.30pm Sat).
Touring beyond Nottingham

Review: Alan Geary: 10th May 2016.

A treat of a play – but read the book.
Unlike the iconic film, which was up-dated to the sixties, this stage adaptation from Richard Greenberg, rightly, keeps to the forties. And it’s more faithful to the book in other important respects, including the lost-cat ending.

The only borrowing from the big screen is Moon River, done beautifully by Holly Golightly, along with a couple of other songs.

New York City, with its wartime ambience, is a character in its own right. Officers are out for a good time on the town, gay sailors off the warships are looking for pick-ups, and the shysters are doing even better business than usual. It’s all go. The set – Manhatten skyline backcloth, fire escape, seedy brownstone interior – emphasises the importance of location. There’s even the welcome cliché of a late-night lovers’ scene with Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

Emily Atack plays Holly Golightly with verve. She captures the elusive quality of Holly. And the studied vulnerability; Holly is a woman who knows exactly what she’s about.

Fred, the young writer based on Truman Capote himself, who loves and likes Holly, and is her support and confidant, is played by Matt Barber in the best performance of the evening. He’s the observer, the chronicler, who frequently steps in to pick up the pieces. He narrates the story, using splendid stretches of prose from the original novel.

Victor McGuire is particularly good as Joe Bell, the husky bartender who knows everyone in town. As Doc, a Southern countryman who turns up just before the interval claiming to be from Holly’s past, Robert Calvert is quietly excellent. It’s in conversation with Doc (he’s actually a vet) that Holly compares herself to an untameable wild bird which, having been mended, has to be allowed to fly away to freedom.

The play appears to be going nowhere up to the interval, with sluggish plot development and revelation of character, but overall it’s a treat. Having seen it, read the novella, which is better. Then compare it with Isherwood’s Berlin novels with Sally Bowles.

Ensemble/Understudy: Katy Allen.
Fred: Matt Barber.
Doc: Robert Calvert.
Mag: Naomi Cranston.
Jose: Charlie De Milo.
Editor/Rusty: Tim Frances.
Yunioshi: Andrew Joshi.
Mme Spanella/Stern Lady Boss: Melanie La Barrie.
Holly Golightly: Emily Atack.
Joe Bell: Victor McGuire.
O J Berman/Dr Goldman: Sevan Stephan.
Ensemble/Understudy: Andy Watkins.

Director: Nikolai Foster.
Set and Costume Designer: Matthew Wright.
Lighting Designer: Ben Cracknell.
Composer: Grant Olding.
Sound Designer: Mic Pool.

2016-05-13 16:21:29

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