Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Curves of The Prisoner of Second Avenue

There I was, just a little while back, talking about the brilliance of building dramatic tension.

And who was the writer of that perfectly crafted piece? Oh, just our old pal Shakespeare. More than 400 years ago. Turns out good writing lasts...

Sadly, the dramatic tension didn't build terribly well in Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue. I'll admit that while watching the play, I felt tense. Particularly in the second half.

But that was mainly because I was worried it wasn't going to get any better than the very first, admittedly very funny, scene. And I was thinking it was going to end badly. And on top of that, I was concerned that, having dragged JC along with me, he'd be as disappointed as I was.

Happily, JC didn't dislike The Prisoner nearly as much as I did. He started to, on the way home, when I'd finally got my thoughts together and started a detailed, shall we say, "rant", about how disappointing the "storyline" was.

But it wasn't a totally awful evening. (Well, JC was there, for starters ;-) I really, really enjoyed watching Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl. They're two fantastic actors. With a consumate grasp of how to do comedy. I could've watched the two of them messing around in a tightly-written comedy for hours.

Indeed, it's an interesting position to be in, really relishing a performance, but developing a hatred for a play.

I suppose, though, that being in that situation is hugely preferable to watching a play you love being massacred by actors you're starting to despise... which I'd never really thought about before.

Learning curves, not dramatic curves, then.
Read my review of The Prisoner of Second Avenue on londonist

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