Yesterday afternoon, I went to see Complicit at the Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo. It is a play directed by Kevin Spacey and stars Richard Dreyfuss. I was so excited to see the play because it was the start of my London theatre career and I love Kevin Spacey as an actor (American Beauty in particular) so I figured he must be pretty good at being a director too.
Here is a description of the play:
Ben Kritzer, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist finds himself before a Grand Jury, faced with the decision to behave like a citizen of his country or as a journalist. Having previously written a now infamous opinion piece stating his belief that Americans were too ‘squeamish’ about torture – seemingly opening the doors to water-boarding and sleep deprivation – Ben wrote an all too exposing article on America’s ever-shifting principles and use of torture techniques. Now labelled a traitor and a spy by the American government, Ben must reveal his sources, going against all his political values and belief in freedom of the press, or face 20 years imprisonment.
Much to my dismay, the play lacked to say the least. The coolest thing about it was the stage itself, it was in the round, so people were surrounding the stage. The stage lit up according to moods within the play and underneath the stage were probably 50 flat screen TVs that played different interviews with the main character, and news footage from 9/11 throughout.
With only three actors and little to no scenery or props, you better have a genius script on your hands. While the script was definitely interesting, the writer could have definitely shown us more instead of telling us. We never actually saw him in the court room, just talking to his lawyer on the side. The play was confusing because you didn't get a grasp from the beginning what was actually going on.
I was excited to see Richard Dreyfuss, and being only 4 rows back, I knew I would be able to get a good look at him up close. Up close he looks really old, and even had an ear piece in the entire time because he had trouble remembering his lines. But I would say he is a good actor and seemed to put his all in the performance.
All in all, Complicit was somewhat interesting but definitely not worth your time or 15 pounds to see.
This is going to be my first theatre review out of many over the course of the semester. My class London Theatre in Performance teaches us how to critique plays, so I figure trying it out on my blog will be good practice!