THEATRE Theatre Reviews Insignificance Crucible Sheffield UK REVIEWS


Crucible Theatre

Clash of the Titans

Loud music blaring into the auditorium abruptly starts this play by Terry Johnson. The opening scene depicts a hotel bedroom where the meeting of four "legends" takes place. The lighting on the stage is creatively organised by lighting designer Neil Austin, with twinkling lights above the bedroom portraying the night sky. Neon lights from the city street shine through the window and the hotel room itself is subtly lit, representing the safe interior.

Four very different characters, who are all historical legends, meet in the hotel room. The Professor, representing Albert Einstein, played by Nicholas Le Prevost; the senator, representing Joseph McCarthy, played by Gerard Horan; the actress, representing Marilyn Monroe, played by Mary Stockley; finally, the baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, played by Patrick O'Kane.

Under the direction of Samuel West the standard of acting was excellent. The accents created by dialect coach Julia Wilson-Dickinson were accurate, although Marilyn Monroe's voice was a little high pitched and over bearing at times. There was to be no mistake as to whom the actors were portraying and this was visually enforced by the replica costumes by costume supervisor Susan Coates. Nicholas Le Provost delivered a well acted and convincing performance and Mary Stockley provided an entertaining yet heart felt representation of Marilyn Monroe. A particularly informative but amusing scene occurred when Marilyn Monroe explains the theory of relativity using only toy trains and balloons.

The imaginary meeting of the four legends provides plenty of food for thought. The immaculate facade of Marilyn Monroe covers up her turbulent and tragic interior, which was portrayed in a slightly gruesome manner in the second act. Albert Einstein's exceptional intelligence, Joseph McCarthy's strong principles and Joe DiMaggio's gifted sporting abilities provide rich ingredients for a one off interaction.

With Samuel West on the horizon as the new Artistic Director the audience went home wondering whether this is an appetiser for things to come. © SG

“Insignificance” is at the Crucible Sheffield from the 24th February to the 12th of March, 2005.

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