The first, a Rough Night at the Theatre II had a minimalist, clearly laid out platform for the fantastic team of Radcliffe and Cummings. Although discussing an incredibly morbid topic of suicide, the duo took the dark humour
of the script and added a lighthearted layer of skilled acting to encapsulate the audience with the short play.
Although short, the duo kept engagement and energy levels high, with clever ideas, occasionally teetering on the fourth wall to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
The second and central play for the evening was Endgame, a classic play from Samuel Beckett made up of a cast of four who venture around banal dialogue and bizarre characters.
With such a play, it can be difficult to keep up the energy or make it interesting without feeling like it is being oversold. Whilst the acting from all four characters was skilled, it occasionally felt slightly forced in order to keep it engaging. That being said, in the comedic moments the audience we were with burst into fits of laughter, so were obviously content. The performance from Karl Johnson and Jane Horrocks as Nagg and Nell, in particular, was amusing and the dynamic between the two was brilliant.
Throughout the play, Daniel Radcliffe maintained the harrowed look one could only achieve having stared the Dark Lord in the face. Not only was his characterful performance impressive, but he must be given credit for his stamina with his constant doubled over stance and difficult movements around the stage.
Alan Cumming’s soliloquies were oddly encapsulating, given the odd nature of Beckett’s content. His performance as Hamm was fascinating and by the end I was loving to hate the needy character.
If you are looking for a performance which is thought-provoking and intriguing, with incredible talent, then I would recommend heading to the Old Vic to see this dynamic team. However, if like me you use theatre as escapism, then this won’t be for you. Whilst the acting was fantastic, Beckett’s odd ways and words were a little too heavy for midweek!