It was very interesting for me to return to this theatre after just going to see Under the Blue Sky. Heres my thoughts on No Man's Land: Just as the play preceding it at the Duke of Yorkís theater did, the revival of Harold Pinterís No Manís Land opens with a sound that immediately grabs the audienceís attention. It is not the earth-shattering bomb at Canary Wharf that opened David Eldridgeís Under the Blue Sky, but an eerie, disconcerting and almost supernatural sound that certainly suggests that this play will be not quite grounded in reality. Just what is grounded in I canít quite tell you, as Pinter is certainly notorious for not having the easiest stories to grasp hold of. What I can tell you is that this play contains some of the finest actors on the West End today. Michael Gambon, a commanding force of the theatre and film is no different here as the wealthy Hirst, a successful writer, the owner of the house that the play is set in. His Harry Potter costar, David Bradley, is holds his own against Gambon as the failed poet Spooner who is trying to work his way into Hirstís household. The two have fantastic chemistry and play Pinterís dry and subtle humor to perfection. comedy actor David Williams, proves just as Catharine Tate did in Under the Blue Sky that he is a multi-talented actor, playing a serious role perfectly here as the somewhat sinister character Briggs who with Foster (superbly acted by The Tudorís Nick Dunning) seem to try with all their might to prevent the desperate Spooner from becoming a part of the household. Yet again, one begins to wonder just what is going on, because the play certainly is not only a study of class maneuverings? Pinter is far too strange to be content with something as straightforward as that. With his circular dialogue, eerie lighting by Neil Austin and even stranger music by Adam Cork, you will be convinced that there is more going on here than a simple power play. I began to come up with wild concoctions about death and purgatory as Pinterís dialogue lead me on with repetitions of phrases like, ďI know this manĒ even if nothing quite added up. These musings are neither here nor there if one is familiar with Pinteróit is not so much about what everything means, but the interactions that lead us there, and certainly his dialogue is recognizable the minute the play starts. Rupert Goold who seems to have his hand in nearly every play currently running on the West End has directed an efficient and engaging revival. It may not be anything new or radical, but what it lacks in risk he makes up for in the talent and quality we are given.
Nick Dunning and David Bradley
© 2019 Wisdom Digital Media