created by Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan with words by Chloe Moss.
Hilton Hotel Docklands 265 Rotherhithe Street SE16 5HW To 9 March 2014.
Wed–Sat 7pm and 9.15pm Mat Sun 2.30pm.
Runs 1hr 30min No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7359 4404.
www.almeida.co.uk/event/ido (run sold out).
Review: William Russell 28 February.
Not so novel as it thinks it is.
Dante or Die, according to the Almeida handout, create site-sensitive productions inspired by contemporary stories and the magical in the mundane, which result in compelling theatre that takes audiences on unpredictable journeys. If you say so, dears, but on this evidence I have my doubts.
Hotel plays, that is plays performed in hotel
rooms with the audience promenading in groups from one room to another, are nothing new and this set of six scenes about a disastrous wedding day is simply Alan Ayckbourn writ small.
The Netherlands company Toneelgroep Amsterdam did this simultaneous scenes with a travelling audience stuff in its brilliant staging of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage at the Barbican last year, and Ayckbourn tackled the technical difficulties of seamlessly joining simultaneous action, notably in House and Garden where the events in one play, House, had to fit in with those in the other, Garden.
Here the events occur in six distinctly tacky bedrooms claiming to be superior suites in the Hilton Hotel in Docklands.
The groom has got the jitters and is about to flee, the bride is pregnant and wonders why she is marrying someone she has only known for a few months, her brother is trying to have it off with both the best man and one of the bridesmaids, the best man is preparing the speech from hell, the bride’s estranged father has turned up out of the blue, her mother is in a tizzy, her sister is sceptical and her other bridesmaid is getting drunk, while grandmother is going nuts trying to cope with granddad who is in a wheelchair half-paralysed from a stroke.
I Do is, to be fair, very well performed and occasionally quite funny but there are also longeurs when nothing much happens, presumably because the action in one room has not quite fitted in with that in another.
Weddings can be family hell, but this “play” adds nothing to that knowledge.
David, Father of the Bride: Andrew Bridgemont.
Eileen, Grandmother of the Bride: Anna Cartaret.
Georgina, the Bride: Rachel Drazek.
Gordon, Grandfather of the Bride: Christopher Dunham.
Tunde, the Groom: Tas Emiabata.
Lizzie, Sister of the Bride: Sarah Hunt.
Abigail, Maid of Honour: Zoe Hunter.
Maureen, Mother of the Bride: Penelope McHie.
Joe, the Best Man: Terry O’Donovan.
Nick, Brother of the Bride: Christopher Reynolds.
Trainee Cleaner: Anna Richmond.
Kitty, the Flower Girl: Ella Havas/Katie Panniker/ Jessica Nike.
Director: Daphna Attias.
Designer: Jenny Hayton.