Sunday, 22 October 2017

Play writing like a pair of amateurs

Play writing like a pair of amateurs
A TRIP to yhe Watermill for its latest show— hurrah! Time to get out the Watermill kit of essentials: wallet, check. Notebook and pen, check. Bag of superlatives always needed at the Watermill, check. Sadly, this time only the first two were needed. The superlatives will have to wait for another day.

I got to this show two days after press night and had a chance to see another review in The Times. Theatre critic Dominic Maxwell was sour-faced and only gave it two stars. A bit grumpy, I thought, the Watermill doesn’t do two stars, it usually delivers nothing less than four.

I was sure that I would see the funny side, especially as I’d enjoyed the original film with Burt Reynolds, Samantha Bond and Derek Jacobi.

Dominic was right, I’m afraid: A Bunch of Amateurs is fine for an unchallenging night out but we probably all expected more from writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, especially after their excellent Wipers Times on TV last year.

This is the story of Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steel whose career is on the ropes. In a last ditch attempt to revive it, he comes to Britain to play King Lear — but he’s been misled and it turns out he will be playing with a village drama group.

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