2 Apr 2019
THE SON Review

I always forget how much of a schlep Kilburn theatre is…. it seems to have undergone a massive renovation last year, which certainly improved the seating. Had a £10 side view upstairs, which was more than reasonable. They seem to be cutting down on costs by not printing flyers anymore, and no way I’m buying a script, so extremely disappointing. Even Royal Court and Bridge, both of which did away with flyers ages ago offer you a printed cast list…. ugh…

So the play. Another instalment from Floridan Zeller. Not bad on balance if a bit predictable. Family conflict, someone may or may not be dead (or having an imaginary reality), there is a proverbial gun on the wall at the start that does indeed fire by the end… the staging was very weak I thought. The set had great potential. But the way they used it was rubbish. For example, there was a big duffel bag type thing hanging over their heads. At some point it opens up and stuff falls out. Fine. But then it’s just hanging there _low_ for the rest of the show. Seriously? Pull the fucker back up. And no, it wasn’t meant as a symbol of everpresent gloom (or if it was, it was a rubbish one).

The acting was better than expected. John Light, who I’ve seen in a few things on screen and had no particular opinion on… holy crap the boy can act… he had that Kim Cattrall and Gillian Anderson quality, where he is 10 feet tall on stage, but is tiny in life. Completely blown away by him.
Amanda Abington (Dana says she is the mother of Martin Freeman’s children) is sweet and lovely and nice (in person), and either her character is just like that or it just comes across. But also not a complex character.
Very surprised by the woman who played the wife. Complete nobody, but really strong performance.
The son… well… it was convincing in some places, spotty in others… I got a feeling that he was more at ease with “regular” scenes than the ones where he was all freaked out and hyper.
Very enjoyable on balance.
Cheapskate enjoyment value: £5.

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